The major point in Phil Goldsmith's column this week is about "pruning" rather than "planting" budget items during a recession, but there was a sharp secondary observation that we wanted to make sure didn't get lost:
We need to be more surgical, strategic and politically courageous in reducing the size of government. But when the administration proposed closing all swimming pools last budget season, then proposed no closings this year, I worried about whiplash as I followed budget proposals that went from one extreme to the other. There doesn't appear to be a coherent strategy or political appetite for sizing up our infrastructure and determining what's needed - and affordable - for today's population.
As Phil observes, this isn't just on the mayor; perhaps his strategy would appear more coherent if Council hadn't rejected a property tax hike one year and then insisted on one the next. But still -- do you feel like you have a sense that your elected officials know what a leaner city government should look like?