The city of Spokane revealed a bleak budget picture in the past week, to the tune of 120 potential layoffs and new fees to fund things like street maintenance. That sparked a lively debate at spokesman.com. Here’s a sampling.
Lewis: City has spent over $11 million on property purchases in the last 8 months. They have lots of money; this is just another attempt to raise property taxes.
De3: Spokane has street maintenance? I never noticed.
Zelda Krup: 120 is X percent of how many? It’s hard to assess the magnitude of cutting 120 city jobs unless we know the proportion. I realize that the cuts won’t be evenly distributed across departments, but still, it would help to know how many employees the city has now vs. 10 years ago. Sadly, services like libraries are going to bear the brunt of this.
Marlene Feist: The General Fund and departments that are dependent on the General Fund have about 1,300 full-time equivalent employees. Some of the larger General Fund/ General Fund-dependent departments are Police, Fire, Streets, Parks and Libraries. The major General Fund revenues are sales, property and utility taxes. Police and Fire make up more than 50 percent of the General Fund’s expenditures.
Mr. Natural: Y’know it’s a darn shame that we all can’t work together without spite to solve OUR city’s budget crisis. That being said what price are we to pay for the quality we desire in our city? Face it, the more cutbacks the less quality, service, and repair. Get used to peanut butter and jelly for dinner and see if you can try to refrain from being a condescending malcontent. As for the leadership, well, polarization is the norm now unfortunately.
Dagney: The city of Spokane definitely needs to prioritize. Key services like road repair and maintenance and police and fire do need to be funded. But police and fire personnel are probably over-compensated. This is a bad economy and everyone should be willing to pitch in. The city of Spokane also needs to stop buying property. They can’t maintain what they already have!
William: Replace them with more bums. This screaming to replace the politicians is not accepting the fact that the ones who will replace the existing ones will be just as bad.
Aeguy: I do believe that head officials of local government should take the majority of the cuts, as in superintendents, chief of police, mayor’s clerks. My father has been a “garbageman” for 20-plus years and the pay difference between him and the guys behind the desk doing very little is of great significance.