Rules of the Road

The purpose of this blog is to share with you my thoughts on issues pertaining to Oil City and Venango County and to foster discussion.

However, that requires some basic rules. Personal attacks, inappropriate language and venom-filled postings will not be tolerated. Comments will be screened, and if necessary edited, before posting.

Disagreement and a variety of opinions are encouraged, but I ask that it always be in a respectful, positive manner. So fire away, but do so cleanly

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Budget Discussions

Council’s budget discussions and ultimately our decisions will have an impact on the city and all of its residents.

Already it has generated a great deal of discussion and more than a few comments to posts on this blog. I thought it would be appropriate to put up a post dedicated to that discussion. I would like to hear from all of you.

These are troubling times for the nation’s and world’s economy, perhaps the most precarious since the Great Depression according to some commentators. Many people are fearful, nearly everyone unsettled.

It is not easy trying to balance a budget and meet the city’s needs in any year, let alone in a year like this. Yet we must.

There has been some criticism of council’s request to get an idea of the cost to taxpayers of putting some money aside for paving, emergency demolition and marketing/economic development beyond the current spending level. I think all of us are looking to the future in asking that, but I don’t know of any yet committed to taking that step. We are still sorting through things. We don’t even know yet what it will take to balance a status quo budget.

I don’t know of anything left to cut in city operations, but I’m willing to look. However, I also think we need to very carefully consider the future in what we do and not just today. I also think in today’s economic climate and given the needs of the city we need to be very careful we don’t make any rash decisions. Of course, rash, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

And finally, I will tell you I think there are worse things than a tax increase, and that would be allowing the city to decline to the point where resurrection is all but impossible.