Grand Island's Unions rejected the plot by our Mayor and City Manager to save face and $150K with a 2 day furlough of city employees...a last ditch attempt to make up for this years $2M budget shortfall.
I am no fan of Unions...although sometimes I feel they are necessary for safety and work environment issues...and this time I think they...the union...made the right decision to say no. It isn't the city's rank and file that has pushed Grand Island over the debt precipice ...it is our city leaders..Mayor Hornady and previous mayors...council members and city management.
Why should the men and women out patrolling our streets...putting out our fires...maintaining the streets..and making sure our toilet doesn't back up into our basements etc. pay the price for a bunch of legacy building...tax and spend bums? The $150K is a pittance when compared to the frivoulous spending by our current and past...and I use the term loosely..."city leaders." There are other cuts that can be made....dump the money pit Shooting Park...increase specific user fees...e.g. golf course...Events Center...maybe plant a few less trees and flowers in the parks this year. The furlough idea is a joke...an attempt by the Mayor to shift the blame away from her and her pals.
The sad thing is...the City's cost of hosting the State Fair has not been realized yet. A $2M shortfall this year...a projected $3M shortfall already in next years budget...wait for the bills to show up in the 2011-12 budget...we ain't seen nothing yet GI. The previous Mayor promised our property taxes would go down with the sales tax he had to have...he was right...he just didn't tell us the property tax cut would be short-lived.
I support the Unions decision on this one...but don't expect much more because I think our city workforce is well taken care of. Almost forgot...we shouldn't let our county leadership off the hook either...their spending habits also helped put us in the mess we are in.