Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Cuts for Mesa

The City of Mesa, and even the Police Department have announced there is going to be an unprecedented amount of cuts due to the economic slowdown. As Le Templar points out, this is going to be a true test of Mayor Scott Smith and his ability to solve problems. The City of Phoenix is looking like they may have to make 20% cuts across the board. It will be interesting to see what Mesa is able to do with even less money and a budget that is driven largely by sales tax revenues.

Clearly, we need to remain focused on the key services such as police and fire, and find ways not only to keep them adequately staffed, but to make sure that can still maintain public safety. Items like the smaller emergency response vehicles instead of fire trucks is the creative type of thinking that we finally saw at the end of the last council that I hope will transfer to the new one.

It will also be interesting to see how the government will look after the cuts. Even though it is early, this could become one of Smith's largest benchmarks of his time as mayor. It may also be the determining factor on if he becomes a one term mayor or one hailed as pointing Mesa in the right direction.

A smaller and more efficient Government is not a bad thing, and just like people are having to make sacrifices in their regular lives, it is realistic that the City would have to do the same. Certainly Smith's "nothing is sacred" approach that he preached during his campaign is going to ruffle a few feathers, but its also the type of method that is most likely to bring about real change.

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