Kansas City Cuts Costs, Keeps Control of KCI
Like an airplane landing in a river immediately after takeoff, a Kansas City council committee has killed even the consideration of privatizing the airport. The Star has the story. The committee failed to advance the proposal on a tie vote. And, while the city council is killing even the thought of an idea that could bring KC hundreds of millions of dollars, the mayor, council, and city manager are debating how to cut the city budget.
I commend the city manager and mayor for proposing significant lay-offs to deal with the budget, rather than passing tax increases. The fact is that way too many people in America work for the government. I realize that recessions may be the worst time to lay people off, but they are also the only time government does it. I’d be happy to see governments keep people on during bad times and lay them off in good times when they would have less trouble finding work, but it never works that way. Either you lay them of in the tough times or the government just grows and grows. In my opinion, the latter is far worse for our freedoms and budgets.
I do have a few suggestion for the city. If you are not going to privatize the airport, you could start small by privatizing the golf courses. And this entire idea should just be dropped:
Funkhouser also proposed several other changes, including spending an additional $500,000 for a citizen engagement program. He said he wanted the city to hire an ombudsman, a volunteer coordinator, a director of community engagement and several community organizers to dramatically improve residents’ engagement in government decision-making.
I am all for transparency and open government, but I draw the line at spending money like this. Government should just do the things it needs to do, and not spend money telling people what it is going to do as part of a PR scheme. Even worse is when officials try to get the thoughts of the 1 percent of cranks that attend public hearings for every pothole scheduled to be filled. Don’t waste time and money sending out a questionnaire for everything. Just do it as efficiently as possible, and voters will tell you whether you are doing the right thing by their votes. And their e-mails. And their phone calls. And their blog posts. And their anonymous, threatening letters. …