Housekeeping, The Mouth Adds Ears & Vallejo's Bankruptcy Budget Choices
First, a little housekeeping...
I've decided to purge some of the links over on the right side of the page. You've just glanced over there and will no longer find the following links:
Byron de Arakal's Itchingpost.com - Byron has taken an extended hiatus from blogging. I kept the link in place, hoping he would return with his own, special brand of humor and style - he didn't. If he decides to jump back in I'll post a link immediately.
Sandy Genis' La Femme Wonkita - Former Costa Mesa Mayor Sandy Genis has, apparently, decided blogging isn't for her. She's not posted anything since last October. If she decides to resurrect her blog I'll provide a link.
CM Watchtower - The anonymous author(s) at the CM Watchtower posts something about once a quarter - and then it's not particularly relevant to anything.
The Irvine Tattler Blog - The Irvine Tattler, which was a fascinating look at our neighbors from a good vantage point, is defunct.
Don't despair, though, because I've decided to add a few, too. As you scroll down the list on the right you will find the following new entries:
OCWeekly.com - A more than slightly edgy view of the world here in the OC.
LAObserved.com - Kevin Roderick's excellent daily summation of news important to Southern California
The Illustrated Conservative Blog - Judge for yourself
"THE MOUTH" APPARENTLY HAS "EARS"
In case you had not noticed, beginning with his post #650 our old nemesis over at the CM Press is now apparently permitting comments to be posted on his blog. I've not attempted to post any - they'd probably be "moderated" out in any event. It will be very interesting to see if anyone cares to post comments and, if so, will they be other than fanny-kissing entries by his loyal band of sycophants. I have no expectation that he will engage in anything resembling a serious debate on issues - he already has his mind made up on every issue.
CITY OF VALLEJO TEARS UP UNION CONTRACTS!
Of much more importance, on Friday the 13th of March, 2009, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael McManus ruled that the City of Vallejo can reject its contracts with its fire and electrical workers unions, allowing the city to begin negotiations from scratch.
BANKRUPTCY A LAST RESORT
Vallejo declared bankruptcy in May 2008 after failing to close a $9 million deficit in its $83 million general fund budget. This year Vallejo, a city of 120,000, faces a $12 million deficit.
POLICE UNION SETTLES
Last month the city settled with its police union, removing it from the bankruptcy proceedings.
OTHER CITIES CONSIDERING BANKRUPTCY OPTION
This move is sure to have far-reaching repercussions across California as other cash-strapped cities deal with a worsening economic reality.
COSTA MESA RUNNING OUT OF CHOICES
As Costa Mesa attempts to balance its budget using what's left of the fund balance account, it looks into the future to see what options are available to balance the 2010 budget. Based on earlier comments from senior members of the finance staff, there will be little left in the fund balance account from which to draw to supplement the declining sales and property tax revenue available. We should know more in the next couple of weeks.
As I've said many, many times, I think it's critical that our leaders and union officials sit down and discuss modifications to the current union contracts. The city will have few alternatives except to lay off workers and many of those will almost certainly come from public safety positions. No one wants that to happen, but unless our city somehow figures out a way to mint its own currency, negotiations must begin immediately.