Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thanks to All County Departments

Yesterday, we wrapped up our third Monday of working sessions with County department leaders as we together deliberate on the 2009 budget.

Despite how challenging this process is thanks to the bleak revenue picture and economy, the department heads and elected officials of the County have largely responded INCREDIBLY to this difficult budget (just as they did mid-year to implement the 6% across-the-board cuts). We are all working through these tough cuts together, and each department is facing up to the reality of this tough time.

We're not quite there yet, and there will no doubt be some tough decisions, but the overall tone of the dialogue has been serious, sincere and apolitical. Thanks to all those who are working together to get this tough job done.

7 comments:

Greg Harris said...

Would a temporary 2-year 1/4 cent sales tax increase be enough help offset all the cuts? I don't think anyone wants to see jails closed and sheriff duputies laid off, and our agencies are laying off folks at a time when their demand is the greatest due to the economy. More crime will costs us far more than a temporary sales tax increase.

I don't think anyone would include you of being "tax and spend." You've cut and cut and cut up until now.

The Dean of Cincinnati said...

You're going to try to raise taxes?

I dare you...

David Pepper said...

I respect Greg's policy views and overall approach as much as anyone in our area, but on this one, I do disagree.

Greg Harris said...

Dean, your question and (childish) dare implies this was Pepper's suggestion. It was mine alone.

The broader issue that I'm raising is whether there's a tipping point where the consequences of cuts end up costing us far more than a small, temporary tax increase. The Enquirer had an interesting article this morning that would seem to indicate there is room for cuts in the sheriff's budget, and perhaps tight economic times compels us to take a fresh look at being more efficient or new ways of doing business (billing townships for patrols, etc.).

That said, what are the consequences if we close Queensgate? What are the consequences of laying off hundreds of employees? What are the consequences of cutting social agency budgets at a time when the demand on their services is growing due to a terrible economy? Will we as taxpayers end up paying for this on the back end many times over?

As I’ve advocated on this blog and elsewhere, I would like to see the consolidation of Hamilton County's 49 governments. But that's probably a pipe dream. So in the context of the status quo, at what level do we have to maintain existing services for them to remain effective?

Anonymous said...

Greg

I like your thought process but I guess something really drastic (Like children dying at the hands of there parents because they can't take care of them. more car jackings home robberies store & bank robberies, murders) will have to happen for government to see the damage that all the lay offs will cause. maybe things will change (when the crime hits home for one of them like their mother, sister,brother) etc....

Anonymous said...

It is so unfortunate that when political entities make decsions in areas to cut, there is no dialogue with anyone else in terms of the conseqauenses of their decisions. Overall, poor business practices remain in this county.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the financial person charged with the tasks of forcasting the financial budget and securing it for the upcoming fiscal years? I would think the county would hold that person partially accountable for the funding/grants, etc.

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