Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s three criteria upon which the relationship between public workers and taxpayers should be evaluated, adapted for our city:
- Equity in employment benefits and burdens between public and private workers
- The preservation of core government services for all Alamedans
- Linked to both these goals: the improvement of the City of Alameda’s economic competitiveness.
Like Scott Walker, our city government needs to stop hiding from our budget plight, begin managing our general fund properly and that means first and foremost a.) reduce fire overstaffing b.) reduce top-paid city worker salaries across the board, and c.) negotiate in earnest with our fire and police unions for real concessions (not the meaningless kind you can splash across pricey mailers for sounds bites).
If the city laid off the 15 excess/unnecessary fire captains, we’d save nearly $4M just in salaries/benefits alone. That’d be an immediate solution to our short-tem budget woes, would be a first step toward optimizing fire services, and give us time to map out a responsible long-term budget. It’s a win-win. There is no good reason for not doing this; so why isn’t our city leadership and management considering this?!