Filed under Accountability, Economic Development, Minnesota, Red Wing, Red Wing City Council
This sentence rings home, “However, there is no reason why a disproportionate share of the sacrifice must continue to be foisted on Minnesota local governments and low-income families.” It truely is time for local government to reign in spending habits and re-evaluate how tax dollars are to be spent. It must also be time to re-evaluate staffing levels as affordability to maintain them as “top heavy” is simply not viable these days, nor into the near future. Struggling families merely attempting their own survival need to realized as an importance, or who will pay to keep local government afloat if they are no longer able to exist? Sooner or later the well will run dry, then what?
I don’t know how the City of Red Wing ranks as far as administrative costs as a percentage of budget. The school district is now in the bottom 1/3 of districts in terms of percentage of budget as administrative costs, so they are running pretty lean.
We cannot raise taxes for 2010. That had to be decided in December. That is why we kept the reserve, knowing that it was coming. We hope that 2010 will be the last year of such drastic cuts. And some local communities do not have these reserves set aside for this.
Everything I read points to further cuts in aid to the City in 2010. The City has signed new 2 year labor agreements except for police, so negotiating wages concessions is off the table for two years. It seems the most likely scenario is further budget cuts or increased levies or both. My understanding is that the City can do a separate levy to cover unallotments.
I know we have been generous about these reserves, but fear does that. We should know by March what our slashed funds will be and how much reserve we need then to keep our top AA bond rating which we need for emergencies.
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Kent D. Laugen is an attorney practicing in Red Wing, MN. He can be reached at 651-388-0476.