Wednesday, June 04, 2008

the san francisco budget

sf requires the mayor to issue a balanced budget, and that budget came out today, and it makes some tough decisions, cutting 150 city jobs and reducing certain services (also increasing spending for things like cops, the roads, etc..). anyway, i won't go into the details here, you can read more at the chronicle site.

what galls me is all the reader reactions i'm seeing. newsom either cut too much or not enough. or not the right thing. or spent too much on X. what i find so startling is that i have yet to find one response which says something to the effect of: "man, maybe the voters passing a ballot measure which guarantees money to X (say, the library system), handties our politicians needlessly." no one seems to trust the politicians very much here, and they'd rather put the budgeting decisions in voter hands. well, if you do that, you have to realize the consequences, because voters aren't going to produce an entire budget. they just impose constraints.

here's a bewildering reader comment that the chronicle actually printed, for some bizarre reason:

There are so many ways to cut costs. One would be having a database of interpreters who are paid only when they are called out. Or a database of people who will volunteer their time. Then again, everyone that is from another country who chooses to live here should only be allowed to do so if they can read, write and converse in English.

- Mary French, 52, Lower Nob Hill, San Francisco (see here)

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