Does he have a secret union-bustin' plan, as claimed by Johnathan Schadenfreude in a recent blog entry? In a word, No. Donchez has no plan to privatize city services. What he does plan to do is replace some grant-funded positions with contract workers, which will enable him to reduce legacy costs like pensions. Some City staff, like the Fair Labor Compliance Officer, is a contract worker.
Donchez likens his budget proposals to "families who brown-bag it instead of eating out" or who "rent videos instead of going to the movies."
Below is an abbreviated version of his 10-point proposal:
1. Assemble a taskforce of financial and business experts from the public and private sectors to review all aspects of the city budget.
2. Protect or improve the city’s bond rating by scheduling only necessary projects, and only after the most economical financing is in place to pay for them.
3. Reduce employee use of city vehicles for commuting.
4. Implement alternative methods of budgeting in order to save money, such as performance-based or zero-based methods.
5. Convert city positions that are funded with grant monies to service contract positions, thereby eliminating additional budget costs and legacy pension costs.
6. Limit the use of outside consultants and rely more on in-house expertise.
7. Initiation of a two-year budget planning process so that the administration and City Council can better plan how limited resources can be allocated longer term.
8. Periodic review of revenue and expenditures with City Council's Finance Committee.
9. Build a “rainy day” fund, which would give the City more flexibility to meet fluctuating cash flow demands and/or unforeseen emergency needs.
10. Limit travel to conferences and meetings to what is required to maintain professional certifications and credentials.
Donchez' opponent, J. Willie Reynolds had no immediate reaction to Donchez' fiscal plan. He suspended his campaign yesterday to reflect on the Boston Massacre, which he called an "American tragedy."