We must start with SPENDING LESS THAN WE RECEIVE. Although this is a simple starting point, there is more to it when running an organization, especially a city. No matter, that is where you start. We, also, must budget for more than the current year. Decisions we make today, have an impact on tomorrow. Successful organizations look down the road three to five years. We must do the same.
In addition, we must examine each and every expenditure. Is it needed? Why is it needed? Are there other ways to perform this function? In order to accomplish that you must determine just what is our city about. We all talk about priorities. What are those priorities? To me a city’s function is to protect its’ residences, keep the roads open, the lights on, water running, have activities for residents, and places for them to meet, gather and play.
There are multiple ways to accomplish those goals.
1. Spend wisely by getting the best deal available. It is not our money to spend as we want.
2. Are the services available other places?
3. Can we partner with other organizations or groups for the service?
What do I mean?
The city wanted to spend up to $70,000 for a consultant to survey historical homes in our city. A consultant who knows NOTHING about our city. We have two great organizations in our city – West Covina Historical Society and Hurst Ranch. Both groups know the history of our city as that is what they are both about, keeping the history of our city alive. Why not use a resource already knowledgeable of our community?
Another area, expand the SHOP program. We have many people in our community willing to help. Use the help to benefit our community. More SHOP volunteers could handle special event traffic duty, make safety/welfare/health checks, serve as crossing guards at schools, enforce parking regulations and other duties not requiring a fully trained police officer.
These are just examples of stretching resources to the BENEFIT of our community.