As the mayoral campaign kicks into gear and the candidates offer their plans (or vague suggestions), the big "but what about...?" caveat is always the city's budget deficit. This year, it was $40 million. Next year, it's $72.5 million. And while the current mayor and city council are responsible for closing that, the shortfall certainly casts a shadow on any grand proposals the candidates want to put forth.
Safety points: +1 for helmet, -1 for headphones
Enter Mike McGinn, who has been releasing white papers like doves at a peace rally. McGinn's proposal (pdf) to save money includes the consolidation of city communications and IT staff (he'd have all communications staff based in the Department of Neighborhoods to "strengthen community involvement and reduce costs"), the elimination of no-bid contracts, and a reduction in the number of strategic advisors.Of course, the work on closing that deficit will precede McGinn's prospective tenure, as the Council must settle on a balanced budget by December 1st, before the next mayor takes office. And, of course, the big cost questions of a prospective McGinn mayorship depend, as he's sure to point out, on whether his scrap-the-tunnel plan pans out as well as he says it will. But today's plan gives an idea of the direction he'd like to head on the administrative front, which isn't the sexiest subject matter. But then, being mayor isn't always sexy.