Wednesday May 19, 2010 | Mecklenburg County Budget

May 18, 2010 at 9:14 am | Posted in Coming Up | 18 Comments

County Manager Harry Jones joins the show this hour to talk about this year’s county budget. As the County Manager has said, “there is no purpose in sugar-coating the situation.” Several major county organizations are experiencing serious financial woes and the next fiscal year will include cuts to eliminate services, close facilities and lay off employees. We’ll talk about the budget for Mecklenburg County.
Harry Jones
– Mecklenburg County Manager

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Charlotte Talks. Charlotte Talks said: Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones talks about his recommended budget amid major spending cuts, Wednesday. Questions? […]

  2. What are other communities doing to leverage the Internet to reduce the footprint and cost of operating a library? In this day and age, with an increasing number of books and publications available in digital format, do we really need to be building so many branches? Seems to me the libraries are doing things the same way they were 25 years ago..

  3. A suggestion for all parents in CMS. What if each parent was assessed a fifty dollar fee per family that would supplement CMS until the economy improves? My child is at CMS and I know all the parents at our school would do whatever it takes to keep our teachers and staff. Thank you.

  4. Is there money in this budget to acquire open space, not to develop at this time, but to take advantage of lower real estate values to expand our city parks and open space?

  5. What is we assessed each famile 25 or 50 dollars- my child is a student at CMS and we raised over 78000 dollars last year to help us pay for what CMS could not.I know all of our parents would do it to retain staff. Thank you.

  6. Cafe style libraries would not work. Why don’t you go to one of our regional libraries on the weekend or in the evenings during the school year. They are PACKED, you can’t even find a seat. Believe it or not, the libraries are used by your citizens and very much needed.

  7. The most recent economic crisis just compounds the problems that already existed with CMS. It seems colossal mismanagement keeps CMS from being as successful as a city like Charlotte deserves. I find it hard to believe you will attract businesses and retain them here, if you can’t provide a functioning public school system. My husband and I are actively seeking jobs outside of Charlotte because the private schools are simply not affordable and the school system is a mess.

  8. Libraries provide computers and internet access to people who can’t otherwise afford it. Likewise digital/audio books only work if you have computers/iPods/iPhones to listen on. While internet access is by no means a “right”, but it can be 100% necessary to look for and apply for jobs.

  9. I would like to thank Mr. Jones for being candid about his lack of immediate knowledge regarding immigrant data and energy. It seems to me most ‘poiticians’ would have danced around the question rather than saying “I don’t know, but I do know where to get the answer.”

    • I agree with you. He seems to be a straightshooter.

  10. What is the impact to the Environmental Services Dpt?

  11. We must get used to permanently high unemployment rates similar to what Europe has been dealing with for decades now. The reality is that in ALL advanced industrial 1st world economies the (over)supply of goods eventually far outstrips demand as nearly everyone has all they need for a decent life – there is PLENTY of food, housing, clothing, entertainment, etc for everyone…and once people have all they need mass-consumption begins to stall, thus leading to an ‘economic downturn’ or ‘recession’ when in reality the fact is we have more than everything needed for a decent life and are steeped in incredible abundance and prosperity compared to how humans lived throughout much of history.

    We have solved the problem of production, now we must solve the problem of distribution: this is the main economic problem of our times.

    We just need to figure out the debt problem, to keep good people from falling in to debt during this time due to unemployment and so on.

    “Even the apologists of industrialism have been obliged to admit that some economic evils follow in the wake of the machines. These are such as overproduction, unemployment, and a growing inequality in the distribution of wealth. But the remedies proposed by the apologists are always homeopathic. They expect the evils to disappear when we have bigger and better machines, and more of them. Their remedial programs, therefore, look forward to more industrialism.

    Turning to consumption, as the grand end which justifies the evil of modern labor, we find that we have been deceived. We have more time in which to consume, and many more products to be consumed. But the tempo of our labors communicates itself to our satisfactions, and these also become brutal and hurried. The constitution of the natural man probably does not permit him to shorten his labor-time and enlarge his consuming-time indefinitely. He has to pay the penalty in satiety and aimlessness. The modern man has lost his sense of vocation.” –

  12. The best hope for the future of the American economy is the growth of various ‘green-collar jobs’ which will help to undo some of the environmental damage which has happened since the advent of mass-industrialism in the last 100+ years. Instead of training even more near-worthless MBAs, accountants, lawyers, bureaucrats, tax collectors, bankers, and other mostly parasitic paper-pushers, why not train more people to be ‘green-collar’ workers who get good and environmentally-beneficial things done in the real-world, workers like on-the-ground eco-conservationists, soil scientists/anti-erosion workers, forestry experts, small/medium-sized farmers and master gardeners, solar panel technicians, animal husbandry experts/livestock veterinarians, water protection officials, wind-turbine constructors, recycling experts, botanists, ecologists, green-energy scientists, and other similar jobs?

    We should also encourage more people to be nutritionists, physical fitness trainers, and so on in order to whip more people back in to decent shape after years of degenerating behind desks. Four-year Bachelor degrees or Master/PhD degrees which cost tens of thousands of dollars to acquire and thus saddle students with large debts are not required for many of these jobs or careers — local community colleges should be expanded and/or retrofitted to begin training large numbers of people in these types of fields, as 2-3 year technical or Associate degree programs can thoroughly prepare people for many of the aforementioned jobs.

    • I notice an almost disdain for freedom in your post. “Train people”! Should we follow China’s model?

      • “Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.” – Plato

      • “Ya can’t take a shower in a parakeet cage
        But you can be happy if you’ve a mind to
        All ya gotta do is put your mind to it
        Knuckle down, buckle down, do it, do it, do it”

        -Roger Miller

  13. I am very impressed with the candidness and honesty of Harry Jones on this mornings “Charlotte Talks”. I would like him to consider running for President of the United States….. we need this type of leadership!

  14. Harry is a bureaucrat. As such he must wear a muzzle and blinders. If he appears a straight shooter remember that vested interests supply his ammunition. He appeared to announce his aide spouting figures and to ask the board to do what they were gonna do anyway. It was a formality like Colin Powell’s treason and lies before the United Nations preceding the Iraqi Occupation. If I could combine Gregg, Realist and Harry into a threee-headed political monster it might make a good president for our imperiled empire, but then we’ve already selected President Barack Obedient, which is about the same thing. It is the role you admire and not the man: all clamour to play Hamlet or King Lear: Such is the power of tragedy.

    Plato spoke for tyrants when he suggested democracy leading to dictatorship. It has led to oligarchy historically, when vested interests resisted justice and economic reform. Property is not all, for labor is required to originate property. The tragedy comes when labor is usurped and cannot mature as well-deserved ownership. That is the prevalent condition now which makes extreme asymmetry of power possible.

    Wouldn’t it be the same to raise taxes a little as to assess each student’s family $50 a school year? No, not exactly, for the childless, the elderly and the employer also benefit from the educational system. We have denied parents both the capacity and the means to educate their brood, even the judgment. Good citizens and obedient consuming automatons are not the same thing. Learning to shop at Time Warner, Harris Teeters and Belks will not suffice for independent self-sufficiency. Why are junior high students not preparing the family tax forms and analyzing the family budget in class? Why do they not trace the fortunes of NASCAR’s Bruton Smith, Bojangles’ Hugh McColl and BNSF’s Warren Buffet? There is a cruel regimen of money etiquette concealing essential truth.

    If the people had any volition they could decide what is sacred and essential in a governmental budget. Instead we must conform to the limited information we are allowed. Some would tell us that people might contribute a worklife of deductions in the expectation of a small check (Social Security) and basic medical services (Medicare), only to be told that these entitlements must be sacrificed for the profitability of some international financial conspiracy. faced with such an outcome the rational worker withholds his labor and resists in a rebellious fashion. We see this happening in Greece and Thailand and ask ourselves ,”Why this doldrum and drought here at home: Why has the storm not come to relieve our fevered bondage. May it rain hard for a long time and the roots of truth be uncovered.”

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