It seems like a riddle, but it's not: When is a deficit NOT a deficit? Well, I think it's not a deficit when it's the result of a shortfall that you should have seen coming. That's sure the case with the City's latest plea of poverty. "Oh! Nippon isn't producing as much paper as before! Which means they aren't using as much power as before! Which means we aren't getting as much in utility taxes as before! Oh, woe is us!"
And so the cry goes forth to cut, cut, cut, all blamed on the deficit, currently estimated to be in the range of $250-350,000.
But the only real deficit on hand is a deficit of City Council members with working eyes and/or brains.
Between seven City Council members, they didn't even have
a single eye open to see this coming.
Hey, City Council morons, listen up: This state of affairs should be no surprise. Harold Norlund spent his past couple of years at Nippon talking about how their production levels were down, and continuing to fall. And Harold has been gone for some time now.
In other words, you should have known this was coming, and planned accordingly. I seem to remember Max Mania talking about his desire to have a City budget that didn't include or rely on Nippon utility taxes in any way - just in case. Given the current state of affairs, that might have been a prudent way to go, eh?
Oh, and in case all this STILL hasn't sunk in, let's have another little reminder, shall we? Remember: Nippon produces paper for newspapers and phonebooks, both of which are shrinking markets. So, going forward, it would be wise not to depend on any sort of big comeback from Nippon's production.
But, since that would be the wise thing to do, I don't think I'll hold my breath waiting for you all to do it. We all know that facts have never really gotten in the way of decision-making in Port Angeles, have they?