The best part about outrage is when it’s not real. The worst part of outrage is when it insults your intelligence. Allow me to explain.
My political counterpart and occasional sparring partner Amos Brown has posted on his blog about raises being given in Mayor Greg Ballard’s Office at a time when the city faces a $27 million shortfall. It contains the usual rantings of righteous indignation and Democrats like at-large Council Member Pam Hickman have taken to social media to perpetuate the outrage and “concerns” for public safety.
First of two quick points, I don’t recall Brown or Hickman being this livid when the Council took two contractual positions, Council Attorney and Chief Financial Officer and made them full-time positions (with benefits, i.e. sick time, vacation time, pension contributions) when the city was starring down the barrel of a $50 million shortfall.
Second quick point, are the raises occurring in a vacuum or how does the Mayor’s overall budget look? Has it increased? Are they working within the current parameter? Or has the budget gone down overall because they are doing less with more? That is the more important question to ask. If the office is paying fewer more, but had an overall drop in its, then I really don’t have a problem. But apparently, some other people do.
And this criticism is coming from people who were ready to spend $180,000 on redistricting which has already been done and they privately admit is legal and a challenge would not stand up in court. This criticism is coming from people who said during the last budget cycle that public safety wasn’t being cut enough and too many other parts of city government were bearing the brunt alone? And lets not forget this is the same crowd that passed budgets with blank pages and passed a $100 million bond years back to cover operating expenses which the city is still paying about $9 million annually in interest payments.
And before I forget, the budget for the Mayor’s office in 2009 was $4.1 million. In 2012 the introduced amount was $3.38 million.
Yeah, that’s what I thought too. Like I said, t’s the worst kind of hypocrisy because it insults your intellect if you know where to look or have a decent memory.