Mayor Parker is approaching the idea of privatizing our multi-service centers by allowing the non-profit group Neighborhood Centers Inc. to take them over. FINALLY!!! This is what I have been waiting for. Mayor Parker found a solution to help our budget troubles. We will have to see what the final deal will be and what kind of oversight the City keeps over the centers, but even approaching this idea is a big leap in the right direction.
Of course not everyone agrees with this decision. According to Fox 26 News, Jolanda Jones said “‘It just concerns me. We tax people to be able to provide services and that’s what we should do’” (see article here). Yes, we do tax people to provide services, but in a budget crisis, we must prioritize these services. We cannot have fewer police officers or firefighters. We need to keep our city inspectors, public works, etc. We have to cut somewhere, or we will soon be in a disastrous situation with debt so high that we will be forced to cut more than multi-service centers.
Neighborhood Centers Inc. wants to take over the multi-service centers, and they will probably do a good job because they are passionate about this kind of work. Keeping it with the city will leave the centers with no money for upgrades and will most likely be forgotten about among all of the other spending necessities.