Oh, Where Does The Axe Fall?

Closing the city’s library and museum, trimming office hours and cutting police, fire and public works positions are among the hard financial choices before the Pacific Grove City Council.

The council will meet Wednesday to begin discussing how to balance its budget in the coming year.

“Now we’re at crunch time,” said Mayor Dan Cort.

· Eliminating general fund support for the city library and Museum of Natural History, which would save $250,000 for the remainder of this fiscal year and $1.2 million in fiscal 2008-09. Museum donations have fallen to an estimated $5,000, down from a projected $60,000. Library programs brought in about $39,000 in fees, purchases, fines and other revenue.

· Closing City Hall on alternate Fridays, with a 10 percent employee pay cut, saving $85,000 this fiscal year and $350,000 next fiscal year.

· Reducing fire service, with three options ranging from annual cutbacks of $95,000 to $245,000.

· Reducing police service, with three options ranging from annual cutbacks of $97,000 to $353,000.

· Reducing the public works staff, with three options ranging from annual cutbacks of $122,000 to $410,000.

· Continuing to defer maintenance of city streets and facilities, responding only to immediately needed repairs; and reducing the frequency of parks mowing, trimming and similar work.

· Eliminating salaries for City Council members, saving $10,000 this fiscal year and $39,000 next year.

· Cutting managerial and staff positions in other departments.

Making all the cuts would reduce the city’s costs by $3.1 million.

Here’s a few ideas:
The city can sell bumper stickers “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted Yes”.
Axe funding for the Chamber’Ocommerce. Make them earn their funding and see if they work harder. Last TV pitch I heard from them was for a travel agency and a web advertising firm. Like that REALLY draws commerce to PG.
That tourist center $100K? Forget it.
Go back and re-visit the property transfer tax – hit the very turkeys that have helped ruin the family setting of the town.
Charge for ‘sign permits’ – $100 a month for open houses and other sidewalk graffiti.
Charge businesses that use the sidewalks as extensions of the store. That’s public property they are serving meals on . . .
Farm out parking enforcement to Monterey. They take no prisoners (or abandoned VWs).
Trim the brass at the PD and FD. Put more in uniform and on the street. Or think about joining forces with the peninsula.
Sewers? Charge the businesses that burden in the system more than the residents.

Oh, Where Does The Axe Fall?