The EXECUTIVE SUMMARY #21
… the roof is leaking!
Over the past several weeks much time and attention has been paid by our local governments to the budgeting process. As we all know, effectively managing money, especially in today’s world, is always a best guess (and hope for the best) exercise.
The theme I consistently hear from executive management at both the city and county is, “we have no money…we cannot spend what we do not have.” As a business person, I absolutely support their fiscally conservative approach. The significant challenge comes with balancing the fiscal responsibilities with the needs/services of the community. This “balancing act” is no simple task…and I don’t want my words to express or imply any other message. But therein lies the “rub”. At what point does the inability to spend (invest in the safety & well being of our citizens), adversely impact the ability to serve the community? We need more jail space but we can’t afford to build the Adult Rehabilitation Center. We need a stronger police presence but cannot afford the officers. These are real and immediate issues…unfortunately without simple solutions.
So, to break it down to its simplest form (so I can understand it)…here is the analogy:
It is raining heavily…and has been for quite some time. Our roof is leaking…and it has been for quite some time. I think it is safe to say that most of us do not have a household budget item titled, “monies reserved for when the roof is leaking”. But nevertheless, the rain is pouring into our house. So, the way I see it, we have 3 choices:
- Ignore the leak until the house is no longer livable
- Find the funds to fix the leaking roof
- Or…Stop the rain
I am sure we all agree, there is only one viable choice.
I know there is no quick fix. I am not about pointing fingers at the local government and arguing what should have been done. But what I am asking is…for all of us, as a community of concerned, competent citizens, to attend the Board of Supervisors and City Council meetings and educate ourselves on the process and the possibilities. We must ask our leaders to look at each grant opportunity, every cost saving measure, any funds available from the state, any way to reallocate funds from one department…to provide the vital services we all deserve. This is the best path to a vibrant economy.
The State of California, in its infinite “progressive” wisdom, shows no sign of better managing “prison reform”; Prop 47 is already revealing its ineffectiveness, and we have yet to really see the adverse impact of Prop 57. And I will not even touch on “bail reform”. It appears that the rain will continue and… the roof is leaking!
The EXECUTIVE SUMMARY by Joe Chimenti