Monday, July 14, 2008

Muncie Mayor Wants to Privatize Police & Fire

Oh, yes, the Republicans want to privatize everything. Mostly I think of this as a si9gn of poor leadership and lack of imagination (a la Mitch Daniels), but Mayor McShurley has a better excuse: current property tax funds are declining in Muncie. Why are they declining because jobs have left the area and with them employees and their incomes. Many reasons exist for all these problems but two years without a sensible economic leadership from Indianapolis (and seven years of the same insensibility from Washington) have made matters worse.

It also does not help that Republicans believe that there is no civil society which government represents but only individuals.

For more read Mayor considers privatization, possible layoffs:
"The state Legislative Services Agency told the city earlier this year that it would lose $3.2 million in property tax revenue in 2009 and $4 million in 2010.

The LSA has since told cities that its early figures were flawed.

Still, McShurley said, 'That's the only numbers we have to go by.'

Muncie City Council adopted a $40.5 million spending plan for 2008. McShurley said she is looking for areas in that budget where she could trim about 10 percent in coming years."

***

Aside from scrutinizing public safety, the mayor is also reviewing contracts between the city and service providers, including information technology and housekeeping. She is looking to eliminate positions through attrition where possible, and hopes to privatize certain city operations.

One area prime for privatization is the city animal shelter, McShurley said. Under a privatized model, the city would own the animal shelter but contract with an outside agency to operate it, possibly the Humane Society.

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