Better get used to it
Local government operations have changed permanently as a result of the recent financial crisis, according to the Washington-based International City/County Management Association. American City & County asked the readers of its weekly e-mail newsletter if, as a result of the recession, their city or county government made changes to its way of doing business that may become permanent. Below are some of the responses.
“As a result of the current and ongoing national and [New York state] fiscal downturn, our county government has both divested itself of direct services in our county health department and transferred them to the private sector, which is providing better service for our citizens than the county was. Our next most likely ‘exploration’ will be the sale [or] transfer of our county nursing home to another non-governmental operator as the [state’s] fiscal picture for public-owned [nursing homes] is growing deficit funding , increased state regulations and labor constraints in a tight employment marketplace
— Jay Gsell, Genesee County, N.Y., county manager
“Police and fire protection are now almost 50 percent of our little city’s general fund budget. And, other dedicated funding sources that pay for infrastructure are also depleted. With less development [and] less fuel tax revenue, many infrastructure projects have to be sidelined and focus directed to basic maintenance and basic level of services [with] no frills!”
— Carol Simpson, Newcastle City, Wash., city councilmember