Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Really? You are going to cut public safety first?

I would like to take a few moments to discuss a few things that are really bugging me.  A lot of communities are starting to cut public safety personnel, or at least threatening to do so, in order to balance the budget.  Why do they always want to make public safety one of the first places to cut?  I do a lot of driving around, have worked for a few different municipalities, and I know a lot of people that are currently working for municipalities and can tell you where cuts can be made, before hindering public safety.

I am not going to name any communities, but do you know what you are really paying for and is it really worth it.  For example, take a small community of around 5,000 people does that really warrant having a full-time parks and recreation director?  Below I will list some of the issues I have and let me know your thoughts... and yes these are all really happening here in Oakland County.

- Do city managers/mayors really need to have a take home city owned vehicle?  The city is covering the insurance, fuel, maintenance costs, and other related costs just so they can have a nice car to drive back and forth to work.  Wouldn't a better option be to have a pool car that stays at city hall that any city employee can drive to do city related business?

- Is it worth it to pay an employee from the public works department to use a back pack leaf blower almost every day of the year to clean off all the dirt and debris around the city buildings?  Yes this really does happen and even if there is a dusting of snow they are out there. I think this could be on an as needed basis and use this person to do something else.

- Do city governments really need all of their staff?  They should look at how much work some of their people really do and consolidate down their staff.  For instance, in some smaller communities I have seen they have 5+ people working desks at city hall, are they all vital personnel?  Do they all have to be full-time employees?  Has the city looked at costs and considered making some of these positions part-time?

- Do cities really need to have a city manager, mayor, council president, etc...?  Why not just a city manager and council or a mayor and council?

- What benefits and perks does everyone get?  For instance, if a holiday falls on a weekend why should they get to close on a Friday or a Monday?  If you want it off, take a vacation day, but the holiday on a weekend does not affect other businesses, so they should be there as well.

- How about working lunches?  Police, Firefighters, EMT's, and Dispatchers all have to be ready to work, even during a meal (and most work while eating),  why cant other city employees?

- Why do cities that are under leadership of an emergency financial manager have to pay them a salary?  The state govenor appoints them and tells them where to go, shouldn't the state pay for them instead?

As you see I can go on and on, but I will stop here.  I am curious to hear your comments and opinions, and whether you agree or disagree, do you know what your tax dollars are paying for? If cuts keep happening to the public safety field these maybe the only guys left to protect the city.

No comments:

Post a Comment