Thoughts on Meeting the Legally Mandated Cuts in Macon-Bibb: Why There’s No Way to Avoid the Tough Conversation About Personnel Cuts, and What Can Practically Be Done to Achieve Them
By Alan Wood, March 8, 2015
Editor of Georgia Watchdog
Macon-Bibb County has around 2,200 local governmental employees, not counting jobs related to the school system. The salaries of these government employees make up the lion’s share of the consolidated budget. In fact, around 80% of the entire budget outlay goes towards salaries. When consolidation was still in discussion, there was a mandate that the newly merged entity must cut costs by 20% by FY2019. That provision is a major reason consolidation was finally approved after so many failed attempts in the past. People looked forward to the tax cuts that a consolidated government had promised to deliver.
Based on the 2014 budget, a 20% cost reduction would be approximately $33 million. Some progress toward that goal of about four percent annually was already achieved in that 2014 budget, though, so the good news is that somewhat less, probably “only” about $27 million more, is additionally required to meet the promised and legislatively required goal of cost reduction. Still, the easiest cuts have been made, and it’s important that the Macon-Bibb government continue in earnest this year to look even harder at cost savings. In this article, I’d like to offer my assessment, and a few suggestions to reach that goal. … Continue Reading