As we enter this budgeting season during this crisis the balancing act in this unprecedented time will not be easy. We must seek an effective tool to conduct an operative budget process while still engaging the public in understanding the difficulty that we face. Given the economic impact of COVID-19, next year’s budget decisions are more critical than ever.
There will be some tough financial choices and trade-offs that will have to occur because of COVID-19. The total impact of COVID-19 on our budget is probably yet to be determined however revenues will be impacted. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on City finances can be substantial.
The City Manager has released a revised budget proposal that outlines the budget for the coming fiscal year. As City officials we must decide how to move forward and address the gaps. It is important to keep in mind that the City’s budget has been stable over the past few years with a few minor increases. Nationally, municipalities are struggling to maintain services without laying off staff. It is in this context that we need to evaluate how best to move our city forward in this time of crisis. Our world, nation, state, and city are not made in a crisis, it is only revealing who we really are. In every crisis there is a message. Crises are nature’s way of forcing change, breaking down old structures, shaking loose negative habits so that something new and better can take their place. The strong person meets crisis with the most practical tools at hand. They may not be the best tools, but they are available, which is all-important. He would rather use them, such as they are, than do nothing. There is nothing like a good crisis to increase awareness of strengths and weaknesses pinpointing focus and directing us as to how to best use our energy to move forward.
The biggest problem during a crisis is to have a crisis within the crisis. This happens when those within the crisis create a crisis among themselves. We have too many people who want to be first, who want to lead the parade, who want to be on top of the heap, who want the big office, the title, the power, the perks and the prestige. We do not have enough people who are willing to work behind the scenes. These are the times that try our resolve.
The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of all. Tyranny, like hard times, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
On another note we face the challenge of school re-opening. Superintendent Robert Runcie said it was imperative to reopen and maximize physical time spent at school. “We got to find a way to do this while balancing the heavy trade-offs of health and safety, equity in access to high-quality education for all students.” “We have to recognize that we have to be flexible to be able to adapt to changing conditions in the pandemic as we go into the new school year. Let us all pray for an effective school year for our children in learning and safety. I hope all had a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend and as the month of October ushers in Halloween care is still to be taken. Past activities will more than likely be very limited, but caution is still in order.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND STAY SAFE!!!