Wednesday, February 7, 2007

C.R. plans to cut 70 jobs and $7 million in City Budget

While Davenport's City Council, Mayor, staff and citizens consider the next budget, Cedar Rapids is experiencing some real problems. It seems their tax base is stagnant, services are duplicitous and not as efficient as they should be. They're raising property taxes as well as cutting services. I don't envy the CR council when it comes time for citizen input!

About the job cuts, Mayor Kay Halloran declared, ``It's not fun.''``But as we reorganize and become more efficient, it may not be necessary to have as many positions,'' the mayor continued. ``We're trying to keep the margins as tight as we can.''

While Davenport is adding to their services, as they should be in the Police dept. especially, other cities are being forced to make tough changes. Our city has done a good job in balancing the budget, adding services and avoiding additional fees and taxes.

Although there is always room for improvement we should be thankful our city budget is in pretty good shape. It does good to look around when we start to examine the way the city funds are being spent.

Your thoughts?
Addendum: Davenport is proposing a slight hike in the sewer rate fee which amount to about $1.65 per household per month. This rate hasn't been increased in 15 years and shouldn't be too hotly contested. At least I wouldn't think so.


pioneer98 said...

I remember catching Dee Bruemmer on cable presenting a slideshow to the city council about the costs to run the city sewer system over the last 20+ years (she was lobbying for a rate increase for the proposed Division St. tunnel). Davenport has one of the lowest sewer rates in the state, and has not raised its rate in something like 8 or 10 years. Their costs have gone up over the years (as you'd expect), but half of the increase was solely due to the ridiculous increase in health care for employees!

This was one example that, yes, government can be run efficiently. If only other areas could be so efficient...

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that the cost of health care for police, and fire is state mandated costs and the city can't do anything about it.

Dave said...

The latest budget proposal calls for a 6% increase in health care costs for city employees. I believe that the individual costs are up to the unions and state regulations. The biggest variable is in the amount of people insured as well as the re-insurance rates. The insurance the city has to pay for costs which might be over and above regualar insurance, catastophic etc.

Anonymous said...

pioneer98, Take a look at those figures again, it is the public safety departments that make upapprox 75% of the general operating budget. 28.3 percent of they're check is matched by the city for police and fire retirement funds, were only 3% goes to the others. That amount of funding goes up $750,000 per year and will be even steeper when the city adds additional cops. Its not the public works department that is causing the increase, its public safety.