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Los Angeles County, CA April 7, 2009 Election
Smart Voter

The Budget Crisis and Bruce's Solution

By Bruce Philpott

Candidate for Council Member; City of Glendale

This information is provided by the candidate
The only way we can restore fiscal solvency is to reduce the burden on expenditures.
The City of Glendale has historically used a financially prudent system of pay-as-you-go with respect to its finances. For many decades this frugal fiscal approach has guaranteed surplus revenues at the end of each year. This allowed the city to set aside reserve money for infrastructure improvements. It never had to resort to long-term debt.

That all changed in 2002 when it posted a deficit of $6,400,000.

At the mid-point of this fiscal year, the total debt spending is now over $300,000,000. This has motivated the city to--without voter approval--take out 30-year bond debt that now totals over $330,000,000.

Some of this money is being used to pay for direct services, which means that our children will be paying for services we are receiving today. This is immoral and must stop immedietly.

The reason for this debacle is simple. While our general population grew by 5% in the last ten years, the number of city employees has grown by 31%. This disparity has placed an additional burden on expenses of around $50,000,000 per year.

This new and huge burden is unsustainable. The city's ability to increase revenue to meet this higher demand on expenditures is impossible. We are already paying one of the highest electric rates in the state.

The only way we can restore fiscal solvency is to reduce the burden on expenditures. We must reduce staffing to a level that is affordable; otherwise we will create a debt burden that will force us into bankruptcy.

The good news is that I have studied the city workforce and determined that we can prevent issuing pinks slips. Based upon the number of city employees poised and/or currently eligible for retirement, we can bring staffing back to a sustainable level.

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