I was super busy today: on the jobsite in jeans in the morning, then into the suit for the City Council's briefing on the budget by Lisa Signori, back into the work clothes in the afternoon, hire two campaign staff, then off to a community meeting with the BRA at the convention center. Now business paperwork, answering emails, etc.
Some thoughts that I will expand on later: if the budget crisis is so bad, and the Mayor is so concerned about it, why doesn't he come over and meet with the City Councilors to try and figure out the problems. What else is he doing on a Monday morning at 10:30 that is possibly more important that working through the fiscal crisis. If I was Mayor, I would sit down with the city councilors myself, and try and find real solutions, instead of hiding behind Lisa Signori. Not real leadership in my estimation.
The City councilors seemed concerned, although 3 of them didn't even show up for what is clearly the most important item on the city agenda. They asked some questions, but not the tough thorough questions that need to be asked. After the meeting I was speaking to one of the councilors that said we could save millions by bringing the cities pensions and health care in conjunction with the State's program, something I have advocated. But, the councilor said they couldn't get anywhere with it because of the Mayor and some of the unions. In these tough times, if you know a way to save millions you need to speak out. Again, this is not leadership, and if I was Mayor I would be looking for every cost saving measure I could so that we could maintain safe streets, and build much better schools than we have now.
More later on the specifics of the Mayor's smoke and mirrors budget. The bottom line is that there is no $140 million shortfall, there will be no cuts in police or schools, it is just that when the rest of America is trying to tread water, the Mayor wants to increase the City budget by 6.25 %. Plus, the Mayor and Lisa Signori promised that property taxes will go up by 61 million dollars next year in FY 2010.
I will be on Joe Heisler's Talk of the Neighborhoods tomorrow night at 7 pm!