Wednesday, April 29, 2020

This Seems Curious

In his virtual town hall meeting last Friday, Mayor Kamal Johnson said he had directed every department to submit plans for how its budget could be reduced by 5 percent and by 10 percent. This action was in response to the expected loss of revenue from sales tax, lodging tax, parking meter fees and parking fines, and possibly property taxes as well. In the context of this anticipated austerity, it seems odd that this notice recently appeared around town.

It reads: "A vacancy exists in the Youth Department for a Secretary 1 position. The current base salary for this position is $35,000." The notice is dated April 24, and "all persons interested" are asked to respond by April 28.

Given the uncertainty of the City's financial future, wouldn't a hiring freeze be in order?


  1. Hi Carole,just so you know, this position is replacing an existing position at the Youth Department and was budgeted for this fiscal year. It is a budget neutral hiring and a neccesary role in our organization. We already submitted our 5% potential cuts to the Mayor along with every other department. If you're interested in doing a positive story about the Youth Department I'd be happy to give you the scoop on the food distribution program we are running right now or any of the other services we provide. Thanks again.

  2. Great response Nick. Even those who seems to have intelligence ends up being very ignorant. I love the youth center and all that you guys are doing and creating jobs is a plus even when you have to sacrifice a little to get it.

  3. What is curious is why this job opening is nowhere to be found on the city website, or the youth dept site, at least easily. Does this notice appearing "around town" mean it is taped to windows on shuttered stores on Warren Street? Is that the way Hudson attempts fills job openings now?
    When will the mayor let us know what all departments are cutting from their budgets? Will that information be on a piece of paper posted on the front door of city hall? B Huston

  4. I wish I had seen this earlier. I would have applied. If it's not too late, please contact me.

  5. To answer your question, Carole, in light of the issues facing the City, yes a freeze makes sense regardless of what's budgeted. Responsible managers in business know this regardless of what they budgeted for long ago (i.e. prior to March of this year). It's only prudent. Relying on the "already budgeted" saw is not only imprudent but in this environment it's irresponsible. Given that the irresponsibility impacts every citizen and business in the city, it's particularly disappointing. But the current administration and Council don't seem to understand that we face a very dire financial future individually and as a community. They need to bear in mind that their budgeted salaries come from the taxpayers' wherewithal and don't magically appear because they're budgeted. They may end up hiring someone today and then laying them off on 12/31. Alternatively, the City can hire people who have some understanding, perspective and specific experience for managerial roles going forward.

  6. "Dire" is the word. Cutting 5 or 10 percent from a budget means significant job losses and service cuts. It certainly should not mean unstudied and hurried 40-year tax breaks for the wealthy.

    1. Correct. Claw the tax breaks back. Restore our state and local government finances. Anything less is outrageous.