Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Something to think about in executive session

Interesting story/lesson from Vallejo Ca.

You know all those negotiations that none of us hear about, for municipal worker contracts for instance, the "secret" meetings they seem to have so many of which NH claims he'd put an end to ... well it's possible to bankrupt yourself if you're not careful, which appears to be happening in this California town.

It happened over there because they over promised to fire, police and other unions and then a slowdown occurred, limiting revenue.

General fund revenue is expected to be $77.9 million, less than the $79.4 million needed for labor contracts, not to mention other costs....

[Mayor Osby] Davis said Vallejo's situation should be cautionary in another way. He said a citizens committee reported in 1993 that if employee-benefits trends continued, they would exceed city revenue in 2010.

The mayor said the warning was ignored by the City Council and city managers. He said the projected day of reckoning arrived three years early, accelerated in part by the economic downturn.

"Municipalities that are looking at us ought to say to themselves, 'We need to start now finding a way to fix it, finding a way to negotiate with our employee unions,' and let them know we are headed on a collision path -- and clear evidence of it is Vallejo," Davis said.

Rosy projections of revenue don't always come true. We can only hope that in those oh so secret meetings that TA and BOS are a part of that they show some foresight and don't give away the farm, because we pay for this stuff ad infinitum.

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