The city of Red Wing presents a false choice in discussing MNGL, a common rhetorical device. Marshall Hallock, the City’s Financial director, asserted at the April 19th public hearing that we can’t keep “subsidizing” the golf course when we are facing cuts to the Police Dept. So, either we lose police protection or sell MNGL. The “Fear Factor.”
The Police budget is down 14.6% since 2003, and when you consider that pay raises are included in these numbers, there must be fewer employees in the Police Dept. However, compare that to General Government spending. That’s up 51%, or $1 million annually, in just 6 years. Where are the priorities?
The City recently approved a 2% raise for staff and bargaining units for 2012. With a payroll of about $11,100,000, that’s $222,000 additional dollars to come up with each and every year. Factor in the real cost to the City by including employment costs such as Social Security, PERA, Workers Compensation, etc., the full cost to the city is more in the range of $275,000 annually.
City employees have now received 11% in pay raises since 2007. The real cost to he city for those raises? About $1.5 million annually. More than the current appraised value of the golf course. I have no issue with city employees, but when you cut the Summer Recreation program for kids, when you eliminate the Police School Liaison Officer position, and now look to whack MNGL, well…, I wonder, where is the shared sacrifice?
Click the link below to view the spreadsheet of department spending from 2003 – 2009.