The Make Minnesota Thrive Drive made a stop in East Grand Forks today, where the City Council decided against hiring a new police officer and firefighter last week. Although the city plans to cut more than $400,000 from next year’s budget because of state aid reductions, City Council President Dick Grassel warns that more cuts could be on the way, according to the Grand Forks Herald.
“We are going to wait until we get into the budget process,” he said. “We don’t know if we have to cut some more. Some feel strongly we should hire a police officer and a fireman, but we have to really take a look at everything.”
Because of state aid cuts by Governor Pawlenty and his allies in the Legislature, many cities in Minnesota are facing similar reductions; however, putting off hiring police officers and firemen could mean fewer business hours and longer wait times for police or firemen to arrive because there are fewer employees. Careless budget cuts and unallotment have meant that some cities, like East Grand Forks, must consider cutting down public safety services to reduce their budgets.
After surviving the last unallotment and bracing for the next, cities truly are in survival mode—scrutinizing every aspect of their budget for the next two years to see what is not absolutely necessary. This isn’t the Minnesota we know and love, and stories like these should be motivation to make sure Minnesota is once again a state that thrives. That’s what the Thrive Drive is all about—learning what things make our state so great but are being jeopardized by reckless budget cuts by the Governor and his friends in the Legislature.
To follow along, head over to the Make Minnesota Thrive Drive page on our website.