The City Council Needs to Make Budget Cuts

Editorial: Resign, Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo — We need to fix the city’s budget and the city’s finances, and move past the budget crisis that’s been afflicting our city for the past seven years.

The City Council needs to be given the authority to make necessary budget cuts or tax increases without running afoul of voter opposition. These cuts are necessary, as the council needs to reduce the size of the city and reduce the number of employees without reducing the quality of service by cutting essential services.

These cuts have to be done with an eye toward reducing the size of the public works department or police department or making cuts in city departments that provide important services to our city. If cuts are necessary, these should be a last resort as part of a process to reducing the size of the city without causing a deficit. Without these cuts, the city will have little choice but to implement massive layoffs.

These cuts need to be based on what services are most needed and whether they are funded through the taxes the city levies. The council should be allowed the discretion to choose which services are most essential and which services are unimportant, based on what they believe is most needed without being sued by city residents who want to protect their city from the unnecessary layoffs caused by the city budget crisis.

But we won’t make these cuts unless we have them. And the only way we will get these cuts is for the council to vote to pass the budget and not have to ask for the help of outside groups or the voters who will inevitably vote down the budget because it has not been properly funded. Without these cuts, the city’s credit rating would drop and the city’s bonds would have to be refinanced.

We need to bring our elected officials in line with how they work. Our elected officials are our most loyal citizens. They have shown over the past seven years that they can be counted on to use their time well by helping to protect our city from spending the money taxpayers are trying to give them. They have been part of the process of reducing city spending until the city’s budget is under control again.

Instead, these officials are using city time and taxpayer money to advocate, lobby and lobby the City Council to pass budgets that are never brought to the ballot and that leave city residents with nothing to show for the work of their elected officials

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