tozmervo

The Bad News Report

957 posts in this topic

It's beginning to sound like Charlotte-Mecklenburg's financial situation is coming quickly to a head. I think the government has gotten along pretty well so far, all things considered, but a $20 million budget cut mid-year is pretty serious, and they're making plans for a full $95 million cut. The library is about to vote on cuts that would include closing 12 of their 24 branches. CATS is facing a fare increase in July, well ahead of schedule, and they may decide to reduce bus service instead. CMS is having more funds cut and will be letting more staff go. No department is immune, from the CMPD to Parks and Rec and Human Services.

At this point, while there are immediate budget cuts going into effect, its hard to tell just how bad its going to get. I expect there is an element of 'scare tactic' in effect, but it appears there are some hard choices coming before the year is out.

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Phew....when I saw this posting I thought maybe monsoon was back!! :shok:

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Phew....when I saw this posting I thought maybe monsoon was back!! :shok:

wow.....thats bad lol

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Unfortunately you are going to see this scenario played out with local and state governments throughout the country.

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This doesn't bode well for projects that I have really been looking forward to, like Romare Bearden. :cry:

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According to WFAE this morning, Gaston County is actually running a multi-million dollar surplus. Among other things, they've been less effected by sales tax declines because so much discretionary spending occurs in Mecklenburg county.

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I'm hearing that the City's upcoming budget gap may only be a tenth of the size of the County's. Still not great news, but a softer blow. The County relies more on intergovernmental sources, capital bonds, and sales taxes than the City.

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Phew....when I saw this posting I thought maybe monsoon was back!! shok.gif

Speaking of which, anyone know where the monsoon at?

Sour always goes good with sweet. Its a Yin and Yang thang I guess.

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I think the hundreds and hundreds of County workers being laid off represents bad news. I wonder if Mr. Jones gets a bonus this year too.

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The library has officially voted to shutter 12 locations to close their budget gap. All 12 will close by April. 140 people will loose their jobs.

http://www.charlotte...-locations.html

  • Beatties Ford
  • Belmont
  • Carmel
  • Check It Out
  • Cornelius
  • Hickory Grove
  • Independence Regional
  • Morrison Regional
  • Mint Hill
  • Myers Park
  • Scaleybark
  • Sugar Creek

Edited by tozmervo

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[Let's let sleeping dogs lie on the off topic discussion]

It is going to be interesting to see what gets cut. I think people can cope with fewer library branches, but when we start dealing with school layoffs and delays of new schools and other projects, it is going to get tough.

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Sorry, veered off-topic for a sec. There are a lot of people upset about the library closures, as evident in local forums. Sure, they will re-open when things get better. I wonder how many more programs/ammenities will be slashed as a result of the budget crisis. Anyone hear of any major cuts to the Parks/Rec?

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Sorry, veered off-topic for a sec. There are a lot of people upset about the library closures, as evident in local forums. Sure, they will re-open when things get better. I wonder how many more programs/ammenities will be slashed as a result of the budget crisis. Anyone hear of any major cuts to the Parks/Rec?

I don't think that any announcement have been made, but I know that they have been anticipating and planning some worst case scenarios. I would expect the cuts to be just as severe as with the libraries. Look for some rec centers to be shuttered and the remaining rec centers to reduce programs and hours. Time to get back to basics. Don't expect the county to sell the 2004 bonds either. Meaning no new park construction for the forseeable future. This includes prominant planned parks, ie Romare Bearden. This would be an ideal time for the county to sell the bonds earmarked for land acquisition and purchase land for future parks....I see this as a possibility even with the severe cut-backs....dirt will never get any cheaper. If the county can keep it's bond rating intact this would be a good strategy.

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I've removed the political banter from this thread. Let's save that for the Coffee House and not have a perfectly good thread ruined.

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I'm wondering if the library is really as bad as we are being told.

Consider this point in today's Observer:

The library board voted unanimously Thursday to close half its 24 branches and lay off a third of its workers after the county ordered the system to cut $2 million in spending by June 30.

It left many of us scratching our heads. The county has a $1.4 billion budget, and yet we stand to lose half our libraries over one-tenth of one percent of that budget?

It's not that simple, but the move sparks all kinds of questions. How can a cut of $2 million out of the library's $30 million or so budget force the immediate shutdown of half the libraries? How does Wake County operate 20 branches with half of Mecklenburg's budget? Did the library have other ways to deal with the cuts? Does the county have other options than to threaten cutting the library's budget in half next year?

http://www.charlotte...l#ixzz0ipMu0cDL

Now I myself gave $25 in reaction to the news, but the above quote isn't the first piece I read since the library closings were announced that made me questioned how does $2 million equal half of all the branches operating costs?

I want to be perfectly clear and state I know that the situation is bad and this is just one of many belt tightnening issues this city is going to have to face, but I'm also just wondering if maybe the Library isn't using a slightly questionable scare tactic instead of real budget crunching.

Edited by Urbanity
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Wow, Moynahan will rent! That is pretty tragic news. Even Bob Steel who knew from his treasury days that Wachovia was the Hindenburg filled with hydrogen ready to explode bought a place here for his token year. This is terrible news about his commitment to this city, regardless of whether it is an open question on the headquarters.

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Time will tell...but I would note that the current CEO of Duke Energy also rented for about a year at Cotton Mills before buying a house. It is the middle of the school year...if he is going to move the family down here they would probably do it during the summer.

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Give the guy a chance at least. Mr. Moynihan has already shown his commitment to the city by continuing donations to charitable organizations in the city, choosing 6 of 11 (or maybe it's 7 of 12) direct reports that are based in Charlotte with only 1 based in Boston and 3 in NY, and retaining the corporate HQ in the city, as well as having KL's old office.

Remember, before this announcement, he didn't have any property in Charlotte. My guess is that he probably was getting sick of hotel rooms at say $300+ per night. If he spends a lot of time in Charlotte, then it wouldn't take those hotel stays long to outweigh the cost of leasing an apartment. Furthermore, I am sure it sucks to have to sleep in a bed that everyone else has used night after night. Maybe he just wanted his own furniture to rest on. Who knows, though, he may just be waiting on buying a permanent residence.

Edited by cltbwimob

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Also, he adds one for the census uptown and raises the income levels :). Looking on the bright side.

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The Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill area lost the most construction-related jobs in North Carolina during the past year, according to federal statistics cited by the Associated General Contractors of America. The area lost 10,300 such jobs, or 23 percent of its February 2009 total. That brings local construction-, mining- and logging-industry employment to 34,800 jobs, down from 45,100 a year earlier.

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It's a separate issue, but I thought the rate increase was excessive and ill timed. They could have gotten the merger out of the way first. The public perception is oh look, they merge and also want to jack up our rates. And 17%? I don't care what kind of development they are trying to finance, it's a huge increase for most folks to swallow. I'm starting to feel like they've become like the Netflix's and BoA's of the world who are truly out of touch with how tough times are for average people. To an executive, they probably can't identify with how big a $20 increase per month could be for some peoples wallets.

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