Thursday, September 10, 2009

Piss away a million dollars, piss away 20-30 jobs

I started a rant about this editorial last Friday, but got sidetracked over the weekend. Since I'm taking a couple of night courses, I didn't get back to it this week. I will over the weekend, because that editorial really ticked me off.

In the meantime, it is obvious that city will face budget cuts this Fall. Instead of trying to figure out how to save money by eliminating city jobs, I'd prefer to examine how many city jobs can be saved by eliminating or reducing wasteful or overpriced city contracts. Since we're talking about the livelihoods of real human beings, I'm sure that groups that consider it their Christian duty to advise the city on budget matters would agree.

As far as I can tell, a million dollars in payroll costs is the tab for 20-30 low level city employees. In 2006, the City Council budgeted $300,000 to hire nine new staff members. At that rate, a million a year would cover the costs of 30 employees, but I don't believe it would be quite that many. More recently, the NOPL advertised for its Library Associate I position with a salary of $26,807 last December. I believe the full cost of a $26,807 employee would be about $40,000 after payroll taxes and insurance costs. That would work out to 25 positions saved for every million cut elsewhere -- certainly, at least 20. If somebody with more knowledge about payroll and labor costs can add anything, feel free to do so.

So, whenever you read about a million here or there, think about the 20-30 human beings that the Times Picayune would happily put out of work.

Full disclosure: prior to the post-Katrina layoffs, I was a city employee. Look Mom, no schadenfreude.

Meanwhile the Park Island Privateers -P.I.P's- continue outsourcing everything and everything they can. Who knows, I am sure that Hatfield and Ellis have found a way to ha ve asswiping could be covered under a professional services contract.
If we could reduce he cost of garbage pickup to what kenner pays (under 11.00 per household) we could save abot $20,000,000, and Kenner uses the technologically advanced semi-automated garbade trucks.
"Park Island Privateers -P.I.P's-"

Definite improvement over the rather bland "Park Island Gang." The city will probably have no choice but to get rid of unneeded city workers, but I'm amazed that so many would be reformers and so many journalists and pundits still consider small government synonymous with "good government." Replacing classified at civil service protected employees with private contractors may, or may not, lead to decreased costs and increased efficiency, but it sure can't lead to less corruption.

I'm not sure if you're right about that under 11.00 per household, mominem. I know Kenner pays less for semi-automated garbage collection than N.O., but the only articles I found said that Kenner charged its residents less than 11.00 (10.28 in one article, 10.33 in another), but they also said something about Kenner giving Ramelli $400,000 a year more because of higher fuel costs. Still, it sure seems to be way less than the $18 we pay one company and the $22 we pay another. That $400,000 only works out to a buck something a month divided by Kenner's 25,000 households, but I'm not sure if that's the total payment -- the articles I found didn't explicitly spell it out. But like you've said before, it's ridiculous that nobody asks about that four dollar difference. By my math, if we paid Richards what we pay Metro, the city could save 60-90 jobs.
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