A Very Forthright Admission About Government Employees in Kansas City
When I first saw this headline about school district employees in the Kansas City Star, I thought the article would be a classic example of a Kinsley Gaffe:
KC school district has about 1,000 employees too many, official says
But it’s even better than that, because the new Kansas City public school official quoted in the article didn’t say it by accident. He and the new school administration appear to be very serious about reducing the number of school district employees:
With about 3,300 employees, the district still has about 1,000 more people than most districts with enrollments of about 17,000 students, said Steve Harris, the new assistant superintendent for human resources.
“We’re way out of sync,” Harris said. “We want to try to get as close as we can for the next school year.”
He can’t predict how many cuts will come. A strategic planning process and school closings will determine a lot.
It is rather amazing, and gives me great hope, to see someone in a position to do something about it admit that way too many people are on the public payroll. I am sure that the cut of a few hundred people in KC will be more than offest by the addition of 100,000 new government employees in the USDOMWSEFL (U.S. Dept. of Make-Work Stimulus Employment for Life), but let’s give credit where credit it is due.
It is unfortunate that the only times we reduce local government employment are during budget-hurting recessions. I fully appreciate that this is not the best time to be laying people off. If I had any hope at all that government — at any level — would actually reduce the payroll during the good times, when those who were laid off would not have much trouble finding new work, I would oppose firings during a recession. However, with the rarest of exceptions (former Gov. Matt Blunt did reduce state employment during his recent term), this does not happen. And, because I consider padded public payrolls to be a serious threat to our freedoms, I’ll support any opportunity to reduce local and state government employment — and I say that as someone who knows what it is like to lose a good government job (for political purposes, which comes with the territory).
So, I commend the Kansas City school district for making the tough choices, just as I commended a few city of St. Louis officials when they recently reduced employment. Thanks to Combest for the catch.