WRTV6 reported that IMPD and MCSD are already facing a 15 million dollar budget shortfall for 2012. IT’S MARCH!!! Director Straub stated, “"If the shortfall isn't found in our budget, we'll be turning off the lights and electricity at our districts, probably by the end of the month. We'll be cutting services pretty drastically when we shut down our districts..” May we take a brief aside and discuss an issue that Dr. Stab, I mean Straub, loves to opine about…Leadership.
Leadership is about how a person guides or directs a group of people. A wise man once said, “Men are governed only by serving them; the rule is without exception.” Martin Luther King said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at time of challenge and controversy.” And Proverbs 29:18, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
With these leadership quotes fresh on your mind, please answer the following question: Why would the anointed leader of a large metropolitan police department first sacrifice the ability of the men and women doing the heavy lifting instead of sacrificing the non-critical bureaucracy? Turn the lights out at the districts!? I have a revolutionary idea….Why not reduce the Public Safety Director’s Office budget about 4 million dollars; in addition, the City County Council could stop allowing the MCSD to buy police cars for road patrol functions when they don’t have that responsibility anymore. The waste of tax payers’ dollars is staggering and there are only 3 possible people/entities to blame: The Mayor, The Public Safety Director, and/or The City County Council. No one else is in a position of leadership with budgetary control.
A word of caution to the police officers patrolling our streets; if Director Straub and Mayor Ballard are willing to shut off your district’s electricity to save a few thousand dollars out of a 15 million dollar shortfall, they aren’t beyond re-opening your contract and reducing your pay.
Take a look at the 2006 and 2011 Organizational Charts for IMPD and the Public Safety Department….any wonder there is a budget crunch?