Jack Evans Report
December 15, 2010
The Council reconsidered the FY 2011 budget this past week to address the $175 million revenue shortfall and “spending pressures,” which came to light earlier this fall, and approved a revised plan 11-2. It was a process filled with difficult choices, made somewhat more difficult by the very short time frame in which we had to act; the Mayor had only transmitted his plan to us just before Thanksgiving. As such, it was always my thought that we probably could not do much more than rearrange some of those priorities and then move forward, which is precisely what ended up happening.
The Council did not adopt any new taxes at this time (in keeping with the Mayor’s proposal), however I believe this and many other issues will be on the table this spring, when the new Mayor, Vincent Gray, submits his FY 2012 budget plan to the Council. Fiscal Year 2012 will be the far bigger challenge, and Mayor-Elect Gray has stated quite clearly he would like to take some time to thoroughly scrub all agency spending to find efficiencies, re-think priorities, and find cuts prior to considering tax increases. I believe this thorough approach is necessary as well; we cannot and should not casually raise taxes without taking a fine toothed comb to government spending and programs. So, further challenges are ahead this spring. Prior to that, the Council will hold its annual oversight hearings in February and March; it will be vital for each Committee to scrutinize every line of every agency budget in great detail.
Turning to happier thoughts – Happy Holidays to you and yours! This is always a wonderful time to spend with friends and family and be thankful for all the blessings we enjoy. Worth noting every year – be careful not to leave your shopping bags or anything of value visible in your car. Also, with the rash of street robberies we’ve seen in the city, with people getting their iPhones and other tech devices snatched right out of their hands, always be aware of your surroundings, particularly at night. You can catch up on your emails later; it’s much more important that you get to your destination safe and sound.
This is our last newsletter for the year. Happy New Year, and we will see you again in January!