Monday, July 13, 2009

Running on empty - The Boston Globe

This is an interesting column by Sam Allis about New Bedford and municipal government. Worth a read. The entire column is here Running on empty - The Boston Globe

Being a mayor today must rank somewhere below pest control officer.

If the trickle-down theory of wealth has been a bust, and it has, the trickle-down effect from state and federal cuts on cities has flowed smoothly. It is on a mayor’s desk that these things land. To be mayor today is to choose the least horrendous option.

“There are no more paper clips to cut,’’ says New Bedford’s mayor, Scott Lang.

Lang learned in February he faced a $2.8 million cut in state funds for the last 20 weeks of the fiscal year that ended last month. He was forced to ax 180 city workers, including 36 fire personnel and 31 police officers.

He and his staff had worked up a study to gauge how many city workers would have to be laid off to make up the $2.8 million. The figure was 426 people, but that catastrophe was avoided only because of available cash on hand.

Lang, 58, announced last week he is running for his third and final two-year term in office. So far, he has no serious opposition. That makes sense. He’s done a good job. I wrote about him after he won almost four years ago, and returned last week to see how he’s doing and ask him why in God’s name is he running for a third term.

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