Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sharpen your pencil, Mayor Newberry

Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry this morning urged taxpayers to let him delay further the day of reckoning for the city's fire and police pension funds, already underfunded by $246 million.
In a statement, Newberry said:

"By issuing a series of bonds over the next 5-6 years, we can (a) fully fund the Fund in 5-6 years, (b) phase in the added financial obligations, and (c) avoid the dire consequences of an across the board reduction in local government services."

Lexington previously scheduled to sell $70 million in pension bonds in 2009. Contract debt is already the third largest item on the city's list of current liabilities.

To his credit, Newberry appears ready to lower pension benefits to ease the burden on future taxpayers:
"Tomorrow, I'll discuss the need to change the benefits for our new hires so we don't find ourselves in similar predicament in the future."

It seems that with the mounting debts, however, cities like Lexington are headed inevitably to an inability to provide lavish lifestyles for layers of bureaucrats running superfluous programs and tying up resources that could be put to better use in private hands.

Putting all government expenditures on a searchable web site would be a great way include taxpayers in the process of getting spending under control.

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