The Phoenix Water Department is considering a series of rate increases while adding an additional 98 personnel this year. The justification and merits to add personnel in these tough economic times is highly questionable. What incremental value will the public get? What is the impact if these people are not hired?
Arizona companies are making tough decisions to rethink product/service offerings and operating processes; reduce personnel, compensation levels and benefits. Our public officials and departments should do the same. Passing budget deficits on to the taxpayers is irresponsible. You just wouldn't run a business that way.
Having served as a senior industry and management consultant to major corporations, I am confident that the budget issues can be solved in part by applying these propositions:
• Align public worker compensation/benefits with private industry levels.
• Nice-to-have services should be closely scrutinized, reduced or eliminated.
• Postpone or eliminate non-essential capital projects.
• Combine or eliminate departments whose value to the public is questionable or not demonstrated.
Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio submitted a plan to constrain Water Department costs. It's a good start but the above propositions should also be examined.