Proposed DeKalb budget for 2011
This is the proposed budget from CEO Ellis. I read through the entire thing, and a few items jumped out at me.
Police officers that used to cover Dunwoody will be reassigned to other parts of the county. That’s good news, it seems the CEO realizes that public safety is priority one. Now I wonder how many officers will actually be patrolling other parts of the county.
Georgia State University did a study and recommended positions be eliminated or combined to reduce redundancy. The county eliminated just half of the GSU recommendations. If you read through the recommended cuts, they seem reasonable. After all does there need to be 3 deputy directors in sanitation.
GSU recommended the BOC reduce their staff by 10, roughly 7 assistants and some other support people. They eliminated none
GSU recommended the CEO cut 9 from his office, he cut 3.
Why are crossing guards part of police services? Should they not be the responsibility of the BOE. BOE has its own police force, they should be in charge of crossing guards as well.
The library system has some 300 employees. Do people really use libraries that often. I know I have not stepped into one since the mid-90’s. I am not saying that we eliminate them, but maybe reduce hours, especially in the summertime.
I love gardening and growing plants and vegatables, but the extension office may need to be reconsidered. I think it is a luxury more than a necessity.
The county Information Systems department should look at using open software in places where it can. It is hard for me to imagine paying licensing fees for employees who create spreadsheets, text documents, or do research via the web. I am sure that the county has plenty of servers on Linux, but I would like to see the county at least look at transferring their desktops to a version of Linux. This could save millions of dollars in license fees as well as support costs.
I cannot say with any certainty or proof that the county staff is bloated, but if the GSU recommendations are anywhere near accurate, then the county could still provide basic services while cutting an additional 400 plus positions. I hate to see anyone lose their job, but the county should not be a jobs program. If cuts need to be made to help balance the budget, let’s do it. I like that the CEO and the commission wants to balance the budget. If the county has done all it can to reduce waste and improve efficiency, then a tax increase will be reasonable request. The CEO should not ask any resident to pay any more in taxes if he hasn’t done all he can to eliminate waste and redundancy.