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Sep 29

The People VS The Staff

Comments (0) 12:00 AM posted by admin |

Picture the scene.

It was a like a wedding. On one side of the aisle, representing the groom’s family, were seated the citizens of Ypsilanti. On the other side, representing the bride’s family, were seated almost every elected County and City official as well as all of the City’s department heads and most of their respective staff. I guess when times are tight…

This was the Town Hall with County officials. It came off just as expected. Just like the State couldn’t help us last week, the County can’t do much better. They gave us a very long list of things they couldn’t help us with; assessing, tax collecting, economic development, ordinance enforcement, building inspection, attorney services, fire protection. To be honest, they can’t help us with much except payroll and IT services. According to City Finance Director Marilou Uy, those two areas would only save us about $88K a year.

Only? For crissakes, that’s a start. This is killing me. Whenever someone comes up with an idea, if it’s not worth $2.5M in savings, it’s thrown in the trash. Eighty-eight grand is $88K less we need to find to balance the budget. It’s $88K less a potential emergency financial manager would have to cut. It’s $88K less we’d have to raise from some bogus income tax. No one from the City seemed to object to this idea. That tells me that if it’s a good one, we should implement it or at least seriously explore what it would take to implement it.

In the end, they just aren’t getting it. Maybe they’ll never get it. On my way out of the Towner Center I overheard a member of City staff say something to the effect that all of the salaries in City Hall only add up to $1.2M. If we got rid of everyone, we wouldn’t even get half of the projected deficit. They don’t even undertand what the point of all this is.

Note: Because the County can’t do our assessing or our appraising for us, the $115,593 in savings I booked yesterday have to go back on the books. That would decrease my ficticious budget cuts of $875,872 to $760,279, however, there is this $88,000 for payroll and IT that can be booked. This brings the total to $805,450 because the payroll portion of that savings was already taken into consideration. I have to admit I’m wavering on the bus subsidy cut. I thought it would be a calculated risk wherein the AATA wouldn’t discontinue bus service to Ypsilanti without the subsidy, but I may have been talked out of that.

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