The article by Brittany Levine (“No easy answers to budget gap,” May 1) pointed out that the new city manager, Scott Ochoa, has pronounced that a “new normal” is necessary to mitigate the current financial shortfall that our city is facing. I commend Ochoa for his evaluation of the situation in the short time he has been in his position. I believe he has the integrity and management skills to deal with those challenges that he inherited.
The most frustrating issue with the current and past city councils has been the disregard of public input concerning financial decisions. Some council members actually publicly chastise individuals who express concerns with financial issues that are on the council agendas.
One issue is the almost automatic approval of the financial obligations that many of the consent items on the agenda carry with them. When members of the public bring up concerns about certain consent items, they are usually discounted.
Also, the city needs to curtail hiring of civil servants in favor of private contractors. When a civil servant is hired, that person is essentially hired for the life of that person. This practice leads to the unsustainable pension costs the city of Glendale is now facing. Several years ago, the city of Costa Mesa voted to replace many civil servants with private contractors. Now, that city is operating in the black.
The public needs to do its part to help the new city manager establish the new normal he has suggested. I urge every Glendale resident to attend the next budget session scheduled for May 14 in the City Council Chambers, or at least watch it on Channel 6.