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Council wants more info on 'crisis' budget

Original post made on Apr 9, 2009

Council members had a visceral reaction to an array of non-specific budget cuts proposed by the city manager Tuesday night, but most appeared to accept an aggressive strategy for dealing with the city's budget deficit, projected at $6 million for this year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 9, 2009, 3:16 PM

Comments (10)

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 9, 2009 at 5:21 pm

"... several admitted to not adequately understanding the city budget despite years on the council." That would be Macias, Bryant, and Abe-Koga?


Posted by Peter, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 9, 2009 at 7:24 pm

FYI: The projected $6 million deficit is for next fiscal year, not this....


Posted by Laura Macias, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 10, 2009 at 7:57 am

Council needs facts and data to know where to cut the budget for expenses, and add revenue potential. That was the basis for the Tuesday budget discussion. For example, at the meeting, Council received a document called "Tiered Strategies", a laundry list of statements of services, programs, etc. that could be cut from the upcoming budget. The listings had ZERO information about the dollar value of cost savings, impact, segment served, total costs of project, etc. Items that may be are to be considered must have the costs listed. It's that simple. These documents are public and can be reviewed anytime.
The description of "visceral reaction by council" rather minimizes the discussion and questions by all councilmembers. We are working on ways of resolution, not recoiling in horror. The budget will be improved and we are committed to doing so.


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 10, 2009 at 9:41 am

"add revenue potential" -- Using euphemisms just insults us and undercuts your position.


Posted by Smart Growther, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 10, 2009 at 10:12 am

Most of the budget goes towards compensation. It will be hard to make cuts when the council signed labor contracts that will grow faster than the inflation rate.

Calculating the cost savings does not tell us the lost benefits. Most services are heavily subsidized so it's unclear how you would make a decision to reduce a service. For example, police and fire services generate very little revenue and cutting them would appear to save a lot of money unless you can somehow figure out the lost benefits. I doubt any of the council members have a clue about how to do this calculation.


Posted by Nelson, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 10, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Councilman Mike Kasperzak said it best when he was quoted in the MV Voice this past week:

Mike Kasperzak, who ran for election without the support of the city's unions last year, said that city government employees should share the pain felt by private employees everywhere through salary cuts.

"There are a lot of people looking at government saying, 'Gee, I sure picked the wrong career path,'" Kasperzak said.


Posted by You said it.., a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2009 at 4:40 pm

"...and several admitted to not adequately understanding the city budget despite years on the council." Then they shouldn't be Council Members.

Council won't cut Police and Fire services, the public won't let them. It will be the street sweepers, librarians, parks workers, recreation leaders, etc. We all need to get over this mindset. In the spirit of what Kasperzak said, all City employees should share the pain including Police and Fire.


Posted by GDM, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Apr 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Police and Fire received approximately 39% of the Budget 20 years ago. Today they received a bit over 50%.

I for one don't think that we are any safer today than we were 20 years ago. The difference can be largely attributed to strong Public Safety Unions that have been able to bargain for very, very generous salary and benefits. These Unions have done an incredible job of selling themselves to the public.


Posted by no, a resident of another community
on Apr 10, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Last time I checked private employees weren't being asked to protect the public safety of our community. Public employees knowingly forgo profit sharing and many other benefits of private sector employment. When times are good, they don't get to take advantage of stock options and the like,so they should not be asked to take the same kind of salary hit as the business sector employees do. I bet a huge amount of that increase in spending on Police and Fire could be attributed to rising health care costs-every employer has been affected by this. We are in challenging times right now. Police officers and fire fighters are not the villains in this budget mess-we need to stop pointing fingers (unless it is to Sacramento) and work together to craft a solution to help Mtn View get through hard times.


Posted by Smart Growther, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Apr 11, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Regardless of what some council members say, they will not vote for big cuts. It is the same council that approved these expensive contracts. No one forced them to offer contracts with over 25% increases. Bottom line, the pro-labor council members will not go against the unions, which pretty much run the democratic party. What's interesting is why private labor unions don't mind supporting these groups at their expense with higher taxes and fewer public services


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