Thursday, May 29, 2008

Lane county job cuts -lack of income or mismanagement?


For lane county, Thursday was considered D-Day for some lane county employees as the county cuts 8% of its workforce as a result of Congress not renewing the $47,000,000 annual Federal timber payments.

A short term solution was for Eugene and Springfield to swap County road funds for general fund money, keeping some county services intact however, under the new budget constraints, more jail beds will go empty and more criminals will go back on the street.
"That means that people assaulting other people, with knives for example, or have terrible criminal background -those people are going to be released. There is no way around that, says chief deputy district Atty. Alex Gardner. " that's bad. That doesn't happen in other places."
Gardner continued by saying " the system is in collapse today and is only going to get much worse."

I will have to agree with Gardner… However, let's also not forget that it is the D A's Office which continually advertises which crimes it refuses to prosecute.

So what about a long-term solution for the budget? Perhaps one place to start would be setting priorities for Eugene and where it is a community wants to go.

For example, which is more important? A multimillion dollar bus line or the protection of our citizens?

The old argument "it came out of a different budget" is flawed because no matter how you look at it, it is still " right pocket, left pocket, it is still all the same pair of pants".

With the cost of fuel skyrocketing, government and private sector budgeting is going to become much tighter and more businesses will close their doors, forcing more people will be out of work. That means that the crime rate will also increase, especially as the funds available for public safety decrease.

As the city of Eugene has already experienced with the old Sears building, if the area is not considered " safe", businesses will refuse to relocate to Eugene and banks as with the old Sears building, will refuse to give loans for construction.

And the list goes on…


Blogger Bobkatt said...

Robin, are you living in Eugene again? If you are I was wondering what your opinion is of the resurface job on the Chambers overpass. I drive that route a couple of times a day and don't even remember a pothole on it. Now it's completely torn up and being redone. What's up with that?

1:40 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

I also do not recall any potholes on that road.

I do not know what the process is for selecting a road for repair, however, it is an excellent example of what we've been talking about priorities.

I remember back when they completely resurfaced sixth and seventh street.

They did such a beautiful job that I was tempted to write a letter and congratulate them on their work.

For of course, the way things work in Eugene, I have to admit that I was not surprised that it did not take more than a month for them to start ripping up the road again to put in a pipeline.

What a waste of money and time.

With proper planning, that could have all been avoided.

7:41 AM  
Blogger MAX Redline said...

Honestly, what's up with Eugene, anyway? In Portland, there was an old Sears building, too - it was completely upgraded and became the headquarters of Metro. Sure, it was way more expensive than new construction, but hey - it's mere steps away from Metro-planned light rail (twice voted down) and the Metro-built convention center (also voted down). Your politicians appear woefully ignorant of the finer points in the art of feeding at the public trough.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

here is an old link about the Sears building, where it was classified as a "depressed building".
Robin's Nest 8-2006

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for mismanagement. Perfect example is the timber payments we are going to be missing. I believe that the politicians knew the payments would not last forever, yet they did nothing to prepare for the loss. They had several years to come up with new ideas but shoes to wait until the last minute and then tell the city folks that they needed to cough up taxes or do without. Poor planning, mismanagement, call it what you will, it sucks.

11:05 AM  
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