09 June 2006

Now That's Leadership

"Money's tight! What do I do? What do I do?"

Worst-case scenarios for balancing St. Paul's 2007 budget could slash 212 city employees — including 115 police officers and firefighters — or require a 23 percent property tax increase, city officials said Wednesday. Neither extreme is likely, but Mayor Chris Coleman and members of his administration raised the specter to point out the severity of the city's financial woes, which include a $15 million projected budget deficit.
To even propose those two options is childish since neither would be tolerated, even by the new mayor's most lemming-like followers.

When asked if he'd set a limit on how much taxes could go up before facing serious political repercussions, Coleman said he had not. "The worst thing you can say is 'No new taxes.' The second worst thing is trying to forecast what the max you can allow is," he said.
No, 'no new taxes' is not the worst thing you can say. In fact, it should be the first priority. When will the modern, caring, sensitive politicinas get the horese back in front of the cart and realize that cities do not exist to tax citizens and invent things on which to spend the money, cities exist because of citizens who have decided that certian limited roles must become municipal.

The city also unveiled a Web-based "Budget Cruncher" tool that lets citizens try their hands at balancing the city budget and fixing the $15 million deficit. Go to http://www.stpaul.gov/ to try it and for more information.

If you follow the link to the budget tool, you can see what kind of a scam process our city faces. The tool only allows you to adjust the highest-profile or politically-charged budget items like police and fire protection, criminal prosecutions, libraries and code enforcement. Wanna hack out all the lame stuff? Not an option. Of course it lets you raise taxes to the moon, though. The whole thing is very a disingenuous stunt from the mayor and a classic finger-in-the-wind move. Why did we even bother with an election?

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