The title of this blog article is appropriate because it seems as if anything thing coming out of City Hall is laughable. It is almost as if they feel the people are slow-witted and cannot see for themselves exactly what is happening. An interesting decision was made to move the Fiscal Year from January/January to July/July. this was a manipulation on the part of the politicians that they made, apparently assuming that We The People are too stupid to figure out. Now, by moving the Fiscal Year by six months, the inevitable was put off for six months, The inevitable, of course, being the budget crisis. But that was all they did, postpone it for six months. One would think that in six months they would have been able to reduce the deficit significantly. And, of course, they probably could have it the first thing on the politicians agenda was the politician themselves. An interesting side note, by moving the fiscal year forward by six months it also but the budgeting, and all the wonderful sound bytes and photo ops were moved six months closer to election day.
The City Manager has come forth with “Plan B”. This was necessary after he failed in his attempts to beat the Citizenry into submission with Plan A. All the threats that signing the petition would cause lay offs of Police and Fire personnel failed to work so he had to make sure he did as promised, just because he said he would. But what amazes me the most is that this same man, while laying off City workers with his right hand is accepting a 10 percent pay raise and a significant bonus with his left hand. If he has managed the city properly in the first place there might not have been a budget deficit and then maybe, just maybe, he might have been deserving of a pay raise, but that did not happen. Hey City Council, I make a motion. I move that the City Manager’s pay raises be tied to the pay raises give all city workers. If city workers get a three per cent raise, so does he. If the City lays off 10 percent of the work force, at the very least, he gets a 10 percent pay cut. All in favor? And don’t feel sorry for the City Manager. He is very highly compensated for what he does, or does not do. I don’t think he is juggling funds trying to figure out how to pay his Duke bill before they cut him off. I say this, if one Citizen dies because a police officer or fire fighter was not available to save them, then that blood is on your hands, Mr. City Manager!
And what of the other ten? What say you, Mr. Mayor and members of council? Thus far, they have been strangely silent, with the exception of one. Mr. Chris Smitherman has been very vocal in his criticism of the rest of council and the City Administration. He has presented a number of cost saving ideas and has pointed out wastes and excesses in City Government spending. Sadly, he is in the minority, or better yet, the Lone Ranger on City Council. Sadly, as an Independent, he has no political machine behind him. The council is made up of one independent, one republican, and seven democrats. He could walk into the council meeting with the perfect budget, with no layoffs, and with no cuts in important city services and I fear he would be voted down. Not because it was a bad idea, but because he is not a democrat. Hang in there Chris, this is an election year. Maybe, just maybe, a number of like-minded individuals will be elected to council seats that you can make a difference. And maybe I will win the lottery The odds of either happening are pretty slim.
I think it would be interesting if everybody who made a difference in the city also had the right to vote. If everyone one who worked in Cincinnati and everyone who visited and spent money in Cincinnati could participate in council elections, I think the outcome would be quite different. My recommendation to you, go the City of Cincinnati’s web site and spend some time watching City Council in action. All council meetings are recorded and available to be viewed. You will be amazed!
Those are my thoughts, what are yours?
I think most elected groups no longer get together to work for the good of all. They run for, and are supported by, special interest groups and do not exercise thoughtful judgement on the situations at hand. As you stated, God himself could not get the ideal answer passed in a session if he didn’t belong to the majority party.