As someone who’s advocated for local-government workers for 40 years, I’m going to tell you something you’d never expect me to say but that I truly believe: Cities should employ a lot fewer people.
In what felt like an eerie flashback, the scenes at the gas pumps following last month’s ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline resembled the gas crises of the 1970s: long lines and panic in reaction to a gas shortage. This begs the question: Over the last 40 years, have we become better able to respond to disruptions and to flex our muscles during a crisis?
Here’s a harsh reality that will be hard for some who lead and manage in municipal government to stomach. Those staffers you lost as COVID-19 battered your local government’s tax revenues? They aren’t all coming back any time soon.
With the American Rescue Plan Act, local government is seeing opportunities to address some of the challenges they are facing brought on by the pandemic. But what’s the best way to use these funds? Mark explains how to best leverage this unique opportunity with both short term needs and long term priorities.
As state and local governments celebrate the latest federal stimulus package, I’m struck by what I heard recently from Uri Monson, CFO of the Philadelphia School District: “The hardest thing to do in government,” Uri told me, “is to deal with one-time money and not waste it.”