Such is the case with Roger C Williams of Bear:
I am outraged at New Castle County leadership and their plan to raise taxes by 25 percent while cutting services across the board.
We pay for services to be provided road maintenance, parks, libraries, police and fire protection, etc.
We are also responsible to pay for the head count needed to provide those services and upkeep for them. However, personnel costs are over 75 percent of the county’s budget. At this level, the personnel budget is clearly disproportionate to spending in other areas.
If that comes in the form of a enormously bloated payroll, I am perfectly fine with laying off employees.
This may sound heartless, and it is tragic for the hard-working people. They are victims of terrible management of county head count and capacity, that went unnoticed during the boom in the earlier part of this decade.
County Executive Chris Coons has got it all wrong.
Don’t cut spending on things taxpayers are paying for. Cut spending on the positions we never asked for and probably never needed.
The key figure here is 75% of the county budget being employee costs, as opposed to 46% for the State. Obviously, the New Castle County budget is way out of whack here, and needs to be trimmed.
This raises the tough issue that Chris Coons and Jack Markell continue to try to avoid: should we continue to pay for positions that are unnecessary because the government has suddenly decided that its primary function is to keep as many people employed as possible?
Putting off this discussion will not do anybody any favors. The WNJ editorial this morning notes:
Yet even when the budget goes into operation July 1, the financial crisis threatening Delaware won't be solved. In fact, if unemployment continues to rise and revenues dip ever further, the budget will have to be made even tougher.
At some point the decline in revenue will make the decision to maintain all government employees--regardless of salary and benefit cuts--financially unsupportable.