Friday, February 03, 2012

State of the City

The city of SJ is in very bad shape. The Mayor and most of council are unable to make the hard decisions to keep us afloat, and I have to wonder how much longer it will be before we have to declare bankruptcy. We can't afford to fund the municipal pension plan, nor make any decisions to bring that plan more in line with reality. Our roads are never proactively maintained, thus in very rough shape. We just had to cut multiple fire and police positions. Many community organizations have lost their grant money.

The current city council voted for the construction of a new police and justice building, which is costing the city millions of dollars, and now we've also decided to cut police and fire services. Perhaps the police staff would have happily put up with their old building had they known the alternative would mean sacrificing jobs. A new building is great if you can afford it. As a city, we can't. Yet council went ahead and did it anyway.

Personally, I'm in my second year of no raise, not even a small amount for cost of living. My company's sick time policy is changing to deal with the abuse, but at the same time, will end up making things worse by encouraging sick people to come in to the office (like the person a few cubicles over making horrible coughing noises as I type this). Companies everywhere are cutting spending, and laying off staff. Am I happy to see the tax rate stay steady? Of course, but that doesn't mean we're not getting screwed some other way.

I have always jokingly asked the question of why I live here, to which I respond with many valid reasons. But now I wonder if it isn't time to start seriously thinking it through.

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