Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gorman, Jones agree on doing 'less with less'

In one of their rare joint appearances on the same side of the table, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Peter Gorman and Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones gave pretty much the same message to residents at the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum today: These are tough financial times and this community will feel the pain for years to come. Employee layoffs and cuts in services will happen next year for the schools, and for the county.

For the county, every revenue source except property taxes has seen a decline this year, Jones said. As a result, "we're going to have layoffs (expected to be 500-plus employees) and significant curtailment of services," he said.

Gorman said the "new economic reality" for the schools is to do "less with less."

The two were pretty chummy even when talking about the bone of contention between them - the county's cuts in funding for the schools. The county provides about a quarter of the the school system's operating funds. Last year, the county cut funding to the schools by $40 million. Gorman points out that other school systems throughout experienced much smaller cuts in local funding. Wake County cut its schools by $2.8 million. Guilford (Greensboro) got about the same as it did the previous year. "We wouldn't have laid off any individuals last year if we got the same cut as Wake (schools) did?" Gorman said.

But Gorman said he understood the situation the county was in, with service demands going up in other areas.

For his part, Jones noted that Wake has a different budgeting system. They put aside money for construction debt service in a debt service fund, which now has over $150 million. Mecklenburg pays for debt service out of its general funds each year so "operating funds and debt costs wind up competing with each other," he said. Wake also did property revaluations when property values were at their peak so Wake is getting more revenues from that stream and thus is in a better position financially.

Those at the forum peppered both with questions that showed their discontenct and had suggestions about how the county and the schools could do things better. Among them: Give more resources to education and look for other strategies to deal with some crimes other than jails. Jones said he was already planning to put on hold jail expansion plans so this might be "the time to have the discussion" of alternatives.

Gorman said no schools would close next year to deal with budget cuts. He's not recommending that. Residents didn't like the idea of laying off more teachers and suggested instead furloughs (Gorman said he liked that as an option but legislative approval is needed and it would take 26-27 days to make up the budget deficit through furloughs alone), longer days/four-day weeks (Gorman said some savings could accrue but there were also problems such as child-care for parents on that day kids weren't in school), 10 percent across the board salary cuts (Gorman said it would only get part of the needed money - about $60 million of the $80 million in anticipated cuts plus some cuts would constitute demotions and require hearings to resolve. But Gorman just doesn't favor across-the-board-cuts because he said it only puts off the need to "reduce the budget to meet the new economic reality" that will be around for the next five or so years, he said.)

5 comments:

RE Wealth said...

I have yet to read or hear about all of the folks at the top who make the decisions to cut the budgets decide to cut their own HUGE salaries. Hmm....

rickosound said...

The people who decide to "cut the budgets" don't have huge salaries -- they are your county commissioners. last I looked they raked in less than $20K a year in that job. And you voted (or didn't) for them.

任安任安 said...

情色光碟艾莉絲寫真2009真情寫真a台灣kiss情色網sex貼片區金瓶梅影片交流免費視訊173liveshow情色視訊美女sexav999免費影片明星露點合成照明星露點合成明星露點偷拍明星露點趙明星露點貼圖明星露點論壇明星露點電影明星裸體貼圖明星走光照真真明星走光珍珍視訊 辣妹美女 視訊ol制服美女影片g8成人下載av短片-免費a片av一葉情貼影色網18 禁一葉情貼影入口免費AV免費成人電影聊天室ut女生自衛圖片小高聊天室網路交友聊天室uthome視訊聊天室jp成人jp5818成人網gogo2sex香港論壇成人視訊zk最新女優介紹最新情慾自拍Live173

Timothy said...

There's only one answer: taxes. The only way to increase revenues is... to increase revenues. Even in this recession, there are many people (and businesses) that are not suffering in the least. Cutting budgets puts the problems on the backs of those that are already struggling. Raising taxes lets those that have already reaped the benefits of society give back to their community.

于名于名 said...

may the blessing be always with you!! ........................................