Frequently Asked Questions - Q9


Question:

Won’t the revenue cap under the proposed charter amendment cause the City to have to cut City services and lay off City employees?

Answer:

Hardly. This is a typical scare tactic of those opposed to any attempts to slow down the unbridled growth in City government. The proposed charter amendment will allow the City to continue to grow its revenues at the combined rates of growth in population and inflation, before having to go to the voters for approval for more revenues. We believe that, as a general rule, the City is being mismanaged if that automatic growth in revenue is not sufficient to fund the City’s operations. Thus attached Exhibit A is prima facie evidence that there is fat in the City budget. Further, it is very evident that there are many opportunities for significant cost savings in City operations, based upon detailed reports (copies available upon request) furnished to the mayor, city controller and each council member by Citizens For Public Accountability (CPA). Those reports by CPA contain lengthy lists of areas of potentially large cost savings. Incredibly, those reports have been essentially unanswered by the mayor, city controller and most council members. The City’s work force already is the second largest in Harris County, governmental or private sector. The City’s budget discloses almost 1,000 administrative aides. The police and fire departments each have more civilian employees per 100,000 population than most of the ten largest U.S. cities. And on and on. The City definitely has a lot of fat in its budget. As to possible needs to reduce the City’s workforce, it could be handled through normal attrition.



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