Mayor Flanagan is predicting that 2011 will be one of the toughest fiscal years Fall River has ever faced. I guess in an effort to have a more open process and let the people of Fall River weigh in, the Mayor is planning on having several public forums to gauge what people feel can be cut and what services people are willing to pay more for.
Well let me make some predication's on how this will go.
First I predict low turnout, although since we're talking about money I could be proved VERY wrong on that one. However, no matter who shows up here's the input I predict our mayor is going to receive.
1. We need to fund public safety! People want to feel safe and protected and lately the local news has been filled with stories about crime and arson. They'll be calls to adequately fund our police and fire departments.
2. We need to fund education! We all know that our school department has been plagued with problems and now they are looking at a 4 million dollar shortfall? They'll be calls to provide the school department with at least the funds to level fund.
3. We need to fund the Department of Public Works! Has anyone driven down the street yet and NOT hit a pothole? Has your trash been picked up late or not at all? This stuff is all basic services that people expect and I'm sure there will be calls to make sure that the DPW receives no further cuts. There probably should be calls to restore funds already taken away!
4. Cut administration! Cut the fat! Get rid of the waste! You better believe that this is probably going to be what the mayor hears the most! And let's be honest there certainly is some fat and some waste somewhere. The problem is people tend to view whatever they don't see as a direct need or benefit as waste. I doubt the Flanagan will get much useful input on this one.