To the editor:
Last week’s editorial on thinking outside of the budget box was right on. After reading it I phoned the Office of the City Manager to inquire about the budget and all the work the city has been doing to identify inefficiencies specifically, if they had identified inefficiencies, why weren’t there any reductions in the workforce?
The senior staff person I spoke with was horrified that anyone would even suggest that there should be staff reductions. Apparently he was unaware that this would be the outcome of any effort to identify inefficiencies and that in real life people don’t get one job and keep it for the rest of their working career.He further suggested that the city is entitled to the income of Alexandria taxpayers for their use. (I have always felt that the only people who benefit from the public school system are the people who work there and now I know that this entitlement mentality extends to city government as a whole.)
We are responsible for supporting the reasonable functions of government, but this responsibility does not extend to continuing to support inefficient and ineffective operations simply to keeppeople employed. As you stated in your editorial, someone needs to take a hard look at the entire operation and make strategic cuts to keep funding the core functions and eliminate the nice-to-have programs. It is outrageous that in a period where there is zero inflation (with price reductions in many areas) they are proposing one of the largest increases in the tax rate in recent history. And if the City Council can’t cut the budget and reduce the tax rate,then the taxpayers of Alexandria need to give them pink slips in the next election.