LETTER TO THE EDITOR: History keeps repeating itself
The city of South Lake Tahoe is broke and the City Council and its management claim it is the employees’ and retirees’ fault. I say the city is broke because of mismanagement.
Let’s go back in time to around 1990: The city had money troubles and laid off a lot of people. People cut from the finance department to parks and recreation to public works. After all the dust settled, the personnel department made new rules. It was really ugly! Things got better financially and the council and management started hiring people again.
Fast forward to 1999: the city again was in financial trouble and went into a process lovingly known as Destination 2000. The city had around 245 employees and it cut back to 192 employees. This process went across every department, including four department heads. At the end off the process, City Manager Kerry Miller addressed the City Council, proclaiming the city to be “right sized,” and the City Council, including Tom Davis and Hal Cole, stood behind him and agreed. Things again got better financially and the city started hiring more people again, including department heads.
Fast forward to 2010: the city is in financial trouble again, can you believe it?
Did the city take the extra money that was coming in and put it aside for promises it had made in contracts with its employees? No. Instead the iy went against its own words – “we are now right sized” – and hired about 40 more employees. Then after it all crashed down, the city has the nerve to blame the employees and retirees for their mismanagement of public funds.
I believe that this is a cycle that will repeat itself again and again. When it does, who do you think will be at fault, and with whom do you think the blame will placed?
In 38 years I have seen four of these cycles and I think there will be more. This last one did not need to happen, if only they had followed there own findings and had not spent all the money.
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