Thursday, July 07, 2011

Summer Assignments for Murray and Winburn

To no one's surprise, council members Amy Murray and Charlie Winburn are complaining about council's summer recess schedule, while facing a $33 million budget deficit. If Murray and Winburn think council should use that time to work on a detailed plan of revenue increase or service cuts needed to balance the budget, then they are free to do so on their own. No one is going to stop them from getting a copy of the budget drafted by the City Manager and then running the numbers so the $33 Million can be reduced to zero. They will be paid the same, no matter if council is in session or not.

So, whether council stays in session, or not, Murray and Winburn I believe have volunteered themselves to produce a written document that provides a full solution on how to balance the budget. Nothing would then stop them from publishing the details that get them to a zero deficit?

Nothing would stop them.

They have plenty of time to get it done. They both most remember that getting the deficit to zero means that the cuts or revenues they list out are real, not relying on delinquencies to pay up money owed.

I'll be waiting for a document....

That should take maybe a couple of days, and that is being generous. The rest of the time they could spend doing the audits they want to pay someone else to do. Instead of paying $150,000 to the State, Winburn and Murray could each do one and they could get another one of the Conservatives will to spend $150,000 on three audits. That $150,000 is money that could instead go to pay the salaries of at least two entry level police officers (plus benefits).

So, two more police officers, or the Conservatives do some work this summer, what will it be?

If I were Murray or Winburn, I wouldn't ask Council member Leslie Ghiz for help. Doing the work of the City, isn't her job, so other than pontificating and grandstanding, I don't expect her to do much this summer for Council.


  1. This may sound stupid but why not have each department look at itself and cut 10% or so, and any department that can cut that much gets a bonus.
    I'm not sure what % $33 million is of the overall budget.
    Also what about offering early retirement across the board to people at the higher end of the pay scale?

  2. In the last budget drama the departments were supposed to do something like what you suggested TB. They just reported what they spent. They seemed pretty hopeless.

  3. General Fund revenues are roughly $330M. Total revenue estimate is just under $1B annually.


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