The Pensacola City Council is faced with an estimated $1.8 million deficit in the fiscal year 2010-11 budget. Instead of looking at how it may save dollars by consolidating services with the county, the immediate reaction is to cut funding to United Way and other charities that deal with this city’s severe poverty. It’s in these times that the nearly $14 million that the city spends on pensions really hurts the City’s ability to deal with its real problems.
I do have one suggestion that the City Council might consider – move the economic development funding out of the General Fund and into the marketing budgets of Energy Services and the airport. Both of these enterprises—and the Port of Pensacola–benefit directly from the expansion and revitalization of the local economy.