Neil Morgan asks this question, or one just like it, about every six months. It’s kind of a “where are we going” request. No one ever answers because we can’t really plan to go anywhere, if we spend all our time putting out fires and limping from crisis to crisis. Which is what we do best.
Reality is, we have to put our structural house in order first, and our financial condition is the first of the firsts. But because we can’t event talk about a financial adjustment process for political reasons, we can only “plan” to consume all our future. “Growth” revenue is just trying (unsuccessfully) to back-fill benefit obligations that will never be fully paid. So, how can you plan anything?
Tuesday, Tony Young wanted a piddly $10,000 for each district, so a bunch of smaller irritations could be more readily addressed. No way – no money. Donna Frye at one time wanted about $100,000 to keep the Municipal Gym open late on weekends during the heat of summer to keep city kids out of trouble on the street. No money.
In a billion dollar budget, we can’t even do the little stuff right because we are broke. And, this will continue for the next several generations.
What we want to become starts with dealing with what we are now. We are broke. If the conversation ever gets back to that, we may yet get a chance to respond to Morgan’s question.