As the El Centro City Council struggles with a shortfall of money to make ends meet, one thing should probably be kept in mind: public safety is the government's most important role.
Public safety is but one of many community needs. The City Council has identified the need to hire more police officers, more firefighters, more City Hall staff to process the everyday work of a city, the need to buy new vehicles and the need to pay for capital improvements.
Other community needs include more parks and recreation, a skate park, a seniors center, and a new sign for McGee Park.
The city has been left with few alternatives in obtaining revenues. The majority of local property taxes were taken by the Legislature during lean times and given to education, an expenditure typically funded by the state. Though movement is afoot via Assembly Constitutional Amendment 10 that would, over a 10-year period, return much of what is being taken, the city needs money now and there is no guarantee ACA 10 will make it onto the ballot anytime soon.