The Bob Donchez fiscal plan turns out not to have a significant union-busting component as the mailer suggested. I don’t have much to say about the rest of this, other than that you’re not going to get significant savings from any of this stuff. Most of it’s just process fluff. The really big fiscal impacts are going to come from changing department strategies, or reorganizing service delivery. You don’t need to defer to a bunch of financial industry Republicans to tell you what to do with the budget. Everybody knows what the city does. What you need to figure out is how to get more work out of fewer people, and to do that you need to look at how services are organized. In other words, you need policy changes.
For example, Bethlehem could save a bunch of money on recycling and the compost center if it was able to get single stream trash collection. But it can’t save that money because Bob Donchez thinks that’s less important than not getting yelled at by a handful of people. Fine, but that’s one opportunity staring him in the face, and the reason it’s not happening isn’t that he doesn’t know it’ll save money, but because of politics. And there’s all kinds of other stuff like that. What’s needed to put Bethlehem in a better fiscal position is more political courage to cut the waste that’s protected by special interests.