By Steve Bell
KANSAS CITY, MO – Kansas City, Missouri City Manager Wayne Cauthen has sent the mayor and council an alternative budget proposal radically different than the one Mayor Mark Funkhouser asked for - saying fixing a $78 million shortfall in one year would be a cure worse than the disease.
Cauthen says to solve the possible shortfall in one year would require the elimination of 872 full-time positions at a separation cost of $13 million and drastic effects on morale, and force the city to provide only basic public safety and infrastructure maintenance services. He said a $78 million cut would require the immediate closing of the city's correctional facility and end support for all cultural attractions.
Cauthen favors a three-year plan with gradual privatization of corrections facilities, gradual staff cuts, and new taxes. For one thing, he'd like to expand the Museum Levy to cover all museums and cultural facilities.