Friday, Dec. 15, 2006 | Now here comes the real pain. Judge Barton has ruled that we the taxpayers are on the hook for the backroom deals which have taken us to the brink. We are stuck for almost 2 billion in unfunded pension benefits. I believe the mayor must now do the only logical thing, start cutting staffs today. I would suggest that many community programs are going. If you are not close to retirement as a city employee, then you better take of yourself and be employable. In the private sector that is called restructuring, I know I had gone thru 8-10 in the 34 years of working for one of our major corporations. It is not pleasant seeing folks whom are like family leaving, not because they were terrible, but the numbers demanded it. It is amazing how much more you can do when the new structure is put into place. Retirees can have their health benefits trimmed, or canceled, it happens in the private sector. The union employees have not won a huge victory, but have opened the door for more pain. The taxpayers are not going to foot the bill for these excessive benefits.
Any politician who doesn’t understand that will be out of office soon. It is unfortunate that there is not more money for police (they should get first priority), then the rest of public safety, and so on. If you’re a swim coach, then I would not feel secure. The city needs to go beyond bare bones. The current and future employees will pay for the past excesses, and so will those who expect city services. Who can we blame? Ourselves and the media for not watching the ball, the city leaders whom passed the ball to future generations. I know it wasn’t Mayor Sanders, he is the guy who volunteered to lead us out of this mess. Good luck to you sir, as it will not be a cake walk.