Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns–Here’s what’s in store for cities across CA unless we shut off the spigot that feeds the beast

In case you’re lulled or enticed into buying the spin from Jerry Brown or the Legislators who cower when the most powerful and richest of the special interest groups gnash their teeth, here’s a look into our collective future if we don’t turn off their spigot of cash they use to buy, bully, and control our legislators at all levels of government.

Steep budget cuts over the last four years have left Stanton, population 38,000, a shell of a city.

Visitors to Hollenbeck Park will find it fenced off, because the city can no longer afford to water the grass. Children who once played in the sprinkler-like water attraction at Dotson Park will now find it dry. Over at Zuniga Park, volunteers are taking care of maintenance and paying for water.

The city recreation department has been virtually disbanded, with most after-school programs closed. Gone are the days when children nibbled on city-funded snacks at the park. Graffiti is staying up longer because the public works department has been whittled down to three.

At City Hall, staff has been cut to 23 people, who empty their own wastebaskets because the clean-up crew was let go. One employee stays late to vacuum the floors. A part-timer paid through a government program cleans the toilets.

 

The city of Stanton is planning to possibly close three of its parks to save money on its annual budget.

And Stanton can no longer afford membership in the League of California Cities.

In 2010, when council members were running unopposed, the city canceled the election to save $32,261.

“There’s nothing else we can cut,” Marsh said. “It’s scary. If we laid off every single employee left, it still wouldn’t close the gap.”

Marsh said the city is paying for only the things it is legally required to provide…

“…Every city is in trouble to some extent. Some are just starting to confront it, but we’ve been loud and noisy in trying to fix it all along. I don’t know if that was wise, from a PR-standpoint – but we are going to have a balanced budget.”

The city is focusing its budget knife as a last resort on police and fire spending – the biggest drag on the 2012-13 $16.4 million operating budget.

Police and fire amounts to 77 percent of the city’s general fund. By contrast, the city of Vallejo’s public safety spending hit 80 percent when it declared bankruptcy.

From this article, Financial doom may loom for at least one O.C. city
published in the OC Register on July 14th, posted by Tony Saavedra, Register investigative reporter

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  1. […] number of years a claim may be filed for a work related fatal injury or illness, from 4 years to 9. Nero Fiddles While Rome Burns–Here’s what’s in store for cities across CA unless we shut off … GadflyRadio.com  | August 30, 2012 A prescient report by Tony Saavedra on The City of Stanton, a […]