The Governance Dilemma

The same-old, same-old budgetary woes: No easy choice in budget options to fund public safety:

To get more cops on the street, should Springfield leaders freeze raises for city employees? Should they cut funding to homeless shelters and other nonprofits?

Or should they slash a projected upgrade in insurance coverage — leaving the city open, city staffers say, to significant liability in the event of a multi-million dollar lawsuit?

Which is more important, the basic functions of government or doling out money to the politically active?

To be fair, the city manager did lay out some budgetary options that include cancelling travel for employees and stopping spending money on lobbyists who agitate on the city’s behalf in Jefferson city in addition to raising taxes and fees. Actual elected officials also proposed cutting things like the Mayor’s Commission for Children. So fiscal sanity and prioritization are not completely dead in this corner of the state.

But I’d expect the eventual solution will be another sales tax increase on the ballot to fund the core business of government while the Mayor’s Commission on Children and block grants to charities are never subject to direct voter approval.