Monday, December 17, 2007

City's 2008 Budget

The city's budget is now passed.

They'll be installing new cameras all around town, to spy on citizens. Bad. Let's peer on public officials and mind the public funds first.

Demolition finds are being increased. Bad. Let's repair and maintain our historic treasures -- not tear them down.

The city has a "Pay as you go capital budget." Bad. Capital budgets are for long-term investments. Capital budgets need planning and discipline. Pittsburgh has neither. Sadly, that concept is a victory for them as they used to have NO capital budget. They have to pay as they go as they can't pay what they should to maintain, to repair, to paint, to fix, to halt decay.

The long term outlook for the city's budget comes without a plan for keeping the city's financial head above the rising red ink in future years. Bad. This council approved tax breaks for a new hotel complex in Baker's Square. They fund development deals as they come, even if they promise to exclude union workers from the jobs after these places open.

Pittsburgh is going from hand to mouth with more employees than ever. This city budget has a line item for a trust fund for the Ethics Hearing Board -- a group that endears NO TRUST from me.

They want to celebrate the passing of the budget. In the big view -- the 2008 budget is simply just another nail in the coffin of a once great American city.

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