I believe there are many “creative solutions” to bring the Firefighters salaries and benefits up to acceptable levels while minimizing the tax increase.
Quit wasting money on studies and campaigns for nonsense like the tax payers funding a minor league baseball stadium for a billionaire.
Quit funding studies for things that city staff should be able to complete.
Quit selling and buying back parking decks at a tax payer loss for each transaction.
Reduce management salaries to the level of those they manage. Example: If the workers are paid mid-level when compared to other local areas, management is paid at the same levels.
Management does not receive any pay increases without those they manage receiving the same percentage. They also are subject to any cutbacks and reductions that are imposed on their workers. If the “belt has to be tightened” it starts at the top.
Cut out all government waste and corruption.
Stop tax payer funding of the Chamber of Commerce and other groups that do nothing other than draw 6 figure salaries for themselves. I believe a complete audit showing how all tax payer money is spent would identify many, many wasteful and unnecessary expenditures. This tax money could then be applied to departments that deserve it, aka the people that really work and provide a verifiable service to the community.
If the above steps were taken then I believe whatever tax increase is necessary to bring the firefighters pay and benefits up to an acceptable level would be justified. The city government tried to sell a tax increase for a baseball stadium as only costing the average tax payer a “cup of coffee” per month………then I believe the Firefighters, the people that actually do something for our community, should be worth a tax increase (if necessary) of at least a cup of coffee per WEEK.
One other consideration that will save money, the turnover rate of employees due to low salaries that causes excessively high training costs for replacements would be drastically reduced. This would also keep in place a much more experienced and well-coordinated workforce.
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