[BALTIMORESUN] Why did Baltimore need to pay outside consultants half a million dollars for a report that says the city's financial future is grim? Probably because a city govt largely made up of friends and relatives of Dem politicians didn't have anyone who could spell well enough to put the report together.
Some city residents wondered as much after Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called for a new trash collection fee, a smaller city workforce and cuts to employee benefits as a way to deal with the projected $750 million, 10-year budget shortfall the consultants projected. For a city as financially strapped as Baltimore, couldn't that work have been done in house? A smaller city workforce would involve dumping some of those friends and relatives. Cutting city employees' benefits would show a lack of "compassion for the working man" so that ain't gonna happen, even though they're gonna vote Dem from long-established habit; the city's had two Republican administrations since 1943, both of them Theodore McKeldon, and he's dead now. A new trash collection fee will bring in new funds which can then be pissed away on projects that don't involve filling potholes or tearing down rotting, boarded up row homes, or changing the oil in garbage trucks. That's assuming any of the recommendations are put into effect at all.
The answer, according to city budget director Andrew Kleine, is no. Those who've heard of it are still working on that "i before e except after c, except when the word's weird" thingy. They're not in the majority, mind you.
Though the city's finance department makes three-year projections, it lacked both the manpower and the skill set to make long-term actuarial projections and propose reforms, Kleine said. Many of the more than 100 proposed reforms will be detailed Wednesday when Rawlings-Blake releases the full report, officials said. It's just a report, not actual legislation. That would involve the city council, which feels "compassion for the working man."
"We just didn't have the staff or the expertise to do this," Kleine said. "Our core function is to formulate the budget and monitor the budget." "City budget directors aren't involved in putting together actual budgets, y'know. We just formulate 'em. We can add and subtract pretty good, but all those graphy thingies are hard. It's best to call in outside experts for that sort of thing."
As for the cost, Public Financial Management Inc. of Philadelphia won the contract in 2011 with a proposal to charge the city $460,000, beating two other finalists whose work would have cost taxpayers $500,000 and $507,000, respectively. Shucks, I'da done it for them for a mere $400k flat.
But the scope of the needed work grew over the past year, Kleine said, and city officials added another $125,000 to the deal -- meaning the consultants were paid $585,000 in all. We call that sort of thing "requirements creep" in the consulting game. Other times we call it "money in the pocket."
Even so, Kleine said, it was money well spent. "Oh, yeah. If you're gonna piss it away, this is the way to do it."
Public Financial Management assigned 20 employees to the project, with two workers logging more than 750 hours, he said. The company and its subcontractors did in-depth research on the "best practices" of other jurisdictions, conducted interviews, made actuarial predictions and suggested reforms. Two guys with more than 750 billable hours between them? And actuary contractors don't come cheap. And another eighteen guys to google "best practices city management," make phone calls, and generally pass verbal gas. Lotsa travel in there, per diem, and all that. It's stuff like this that keeps MBAs off foodstamps.
He's doing his job, you know. The damage is being done. There's cap and trade, ObamaCare, the stimuli, the impending sequester, the downsizing of the military, the economy in ruins, the NORK nuke, the Iranian nuke, the Chinese throwing their weight around the eastern Pacific. He deserves a round of golf.
[WASHINGTONTIMES] When the behemoth, possibly inevitable $1.2 trillion in spending cuts descend on March 1, the Democrats will be sitting pretty, perched in the most advantageous position. Right? Wrong. A careful new study from Bloomberg Government upends that logic.
The analysis shows that Democratic congressional districts will be harder hit by the military cuts than Republican districts, and that eight of the top 10 districts that will experience the deepest cuts are represented by Democrats.
Here is the logic, according to Bloomberg government defense analyst Robert Levinson.
He notes that "Democrats won 47 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives in the 2012 election, but 58 percent of the military's fiscal 2012 prime contract spending went to companies performing work in those districts. Among the top districts, military spending in those represented by Democrats averaged $893 million this year, vs. $573 million in those represented by Republicans."
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
"Democrats won 47 percent of the seats in the House of Representatives in the 2012 election
While it is true, the Donks went from 192 (2010) to 201 (2012) seats; it was a pickup of 9 seats. The Pubs control the House 46% to 44%.
Maybe there is a silver lining to be had here. If the Donk districts lose House seats due to sequestration, the Pubs will increase their hold on the House. The Donks are hoping to win the House in 2014 so they can realize the glory days of (2008-2010) unrestricted spending. It was also a time when they were able to realize their decades long wet dream of shoving Obamacare down the throats of the American people and thereby gaining control of 1/6th of the economy. Should the Donks win the House, they will push gun-control, amnesty, climate change (formerly referred to as global warming), more green energy flops and carbon credits down our throats, tell us to swallow, to shut up, and to like it.
...Remember a few years ago when the USN closed a big facility in always reliably Democratic Puerto Rico? The locals had been b!tching about it for years, and it got worse when a civilian employee was accidentally killed...and when the Navy closed the place, the screams of outrage were monumental.
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
That is usually how it is Mike. Soldiers cause trouble (like a college, young kids just do that) and some people scream loudly about it.
Then the base closes and they realize that 60% of their economy is based on those kids and the woe is us screams are heard.
...Similar situation at Fort Monroe, VA - the developers were salivating over what might well have become the most expensive real estate between NYC and Hilton Head...until the Feds let slip how much unexploded ammo was lying around, dating back to the Civil War. HINT: at least once or twice a year, EOD got a workout. Nobody was going to pay eight figures for the possibility of a UXO beneath the azaleas, so...
Posted by: Mike Kozlowski ||
Once upon a time even Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee voiced her opposition to defense cuts. 'Course they were in her district. That thar Military Industrial Complex sure is some cunning sumbitches.
And Camp Pendleton. The Marines made a significant amount of land a nature preserve/wildlife sanctuary. Not by chance, it's on the northern and eastern areas of the base, areas most coveted by developers.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.