21 May 2012

Part of the solution

The budget problem in our city isn't going away.  Every year we're trying to come up with ways to cut money from the school budget.  I've heard some of our elected officials claim that the citizens only want to complain, but have no suggestions for solving the problem in the long term.  So, here goes.....some ideas (some mine, some that I've heard around) for increasing city revenue.

  • Charge more for parking downtown
  • Charge more for parking during events at the Verizon
  • Charge for trash and recycling collection
  • Charge for pickup and disposal of large items (couches, carpet, etc)
  • Charge higher late fees at the library
  • Charge a business licensing fee to all businesses located in the city (even $50 would make a difference)
  • Look at old contracts and renegotiate (The city is more than willing to negotiate teacher, fire, and police contracts every single year.  Why don't they look at other contracts?)
  • Don't give tax breaks to the FisherCats so that they can install a new, fancy video screen
  • Charge admission for the city pools and Crystal Lake ($1/person isn't going to bankrupt a family for a few hours of recreation
  • Staff the city pools instead of letting the Red Cross do it
  • Have the Parks & Rec department offer activities and sports
  • Re-examine the city buses and routes.....can't remember the last time I saw more than 5 people on a full-sized bus
  • Eliminate the street sweepers
  • Eliminate food at the Board of Aldermen and Mayor meetings (I assume the city pays for that food. If not, at least it would make the meetings go faster, and require the aldermen to be in the room, paying attention to what's going on)
  • In neighborhoods that don't provide enough off-street parking for residents charge for on-street parking permits
These are just a few ideas on the city side that could increase revenue/decrease spending.

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