I'm amazed at the time and attention given the "Refuse Fee". For a fee which generates only 2% of the Revenue for the General Fund of the budget, it seems to be receiving 75% of the energy the Council, Administration and Blade coverage of the budget. We hear virtually nothing of any plans to reduce spending, freeze wages, require 8 hours work for 8 hours pay... it's just "give me more money" through the refuse "fee". Why not? After all, it's a cash cow for the city as there are no restrictions on how high they can raise the fee to generate revenue to pay for exorbitant expenditures. For the 4.9 million in projected revenue, Council could do an across the board cut of .09% over the $545 million budget rather than push this unnecessary fee.
I have this to offer regarding the Blade editorial:
"The Blade position regarding the city budget is curious given the fact they shut out their employees just recently to force concessions on wages, benefits, employee hours, etc. Not only did the Blade receive numerous concessions, they did so without affecting service. Why doesn’t the Blade as vigorously advocate for the taxpayers by holding the Administration and Council to the same standards and demand similar concessions. Could the Blade remain viable with 28% retirement payments, 0 in medical benefit copay, employees working 4 hours a day though paid for 8 hours, 15 paid holidays, etc.? I doubt it! But then, it is much easier to spend the money of others. This continued position of tax and spend on the part of the Blade is both disappointing and irresponsible as these contracts are crippling the city."