…given the size of our financial challenge and the pursuit of cost reduction-driven solutions, we all realize that cuts will not be painless. To that end, the values and priorities of the citizens of Northfield should be the guiding factors in determining recommendations for which services should be maintained and which services could be eliminated.
The NDDC requests that a formal, open, two-way process be conducted to provide citizens the opportunity to share their values and priorities for funding decisions that will impact their municipal services.
The reaction by two councilors to the layoff of Marj Evans-de-Carpio (Nfld News story, Interpreter layoff criticized) indicates there’s some support for Covey’s position:
At a council meeting in May, both Zweifel and Buckheit voted for to approve “general direction” of the city’s budget reduction plan, but said they felt discouraged from pulling single items out of the overall plan for discussion.
Both councilors also voiced frustration about how the city has approached planning for the cuts. “I realize the need to make short-term cuts, but we’ve never had the bigger picture conversation about our values and priorities in the community,” said Buckheit.
The Northfield City Council recently approved its Strategic Direction and Goals for 2010 and the first three goals under Direction #1 all have to do with citizen communications. ‘Twould be cool if they could be put into play for the budget cuts.