Wednesday, February 11, 2009

When Do You Say 'Ouch?'

So, here's the question:

What cut will be egregious that you'll be offended?

The PD "demotions" got some fire, but really, it wasn't that bad.

The school department's talk of merging BF Brown and Academy barely raised an eyebrow.

Last year's library cuts are certainly grist for the mills, but really, it's not like there was a big protest outside City Hall.

Mayor Lisa Wong told the City Council this week that the city will need to cut $4 million out of the budget for next year. Certainly, big cuts are going to come. With the chances of new revenue looking shaky, based on early reports, you can bank on more cuts than new money. And that's putting it lightly.

I guess it's kind of a hypothetical question that you can't really get a handle on right now, but it's worth asking not just here but throughout the city: When do you say "ouch?"

10 police department layoffs? Closing Summer St. fire station? Closing some parks for the summer? Turning streetlights off?

I guess it's a different way of asking, what are the priorities? Seriously, I hope for some good feedback on this. Recent budget discussions have quickly devolved into "Lisa Wong sucks," and "the trash fee sucks almost as much." I'd like to move beyond that and get some kind of sense of what people think. What cut would make you stand up and say, "absolutely not." Consider stuff like: 3 cops OK, 5 no. Keep parks open, but don't maintain the fields. Stuff like that. What's your limit? You can't avoid them, you can only pick the ones you dislike least. Ready? Go.