I just noticed this on the city of Dallas's Web site: "A Message from the City Manager to Residents & Business Owners." It's Mary Suhm's way of explaining why come the city's hiked water, wastewater and stormwater rates, which took effect last week per the FY2009-2010 budget. It's also intended as a pep talk following layoffs at City Hall and other cuts in services. So, what says Suhm?
Dear Residents & Business Owners,
We live and work in a first class city where residents and business owners are involved, caring and have a genuine can-do attitude. Dallas is cosmopolitan and artistic, with a dash of bravado. It's that swagger and confidence that drives our diverse communities to tackle challenges. This year, like many cities we face a budget challenge.
Meeting that challenge means we must work creatively to deliver quality services within our budget while remaining sensitive to the needs of the community. To balance the budget, we've made changes that include a reduction in workforce, department consolidations and reductions or cuts in services. In an effort to minimize confusion and continue to provide superior customer service, a complete list of service changes is posted on the City's Web site.
The basic challenge that faces any city government is to serve its citizens well. Under current circumstances, this challenge is expanded to also deliver quality services within the City's means.
It's important to note, our City's strength and resiliency has been tested before. And as we've done in the past, we will meet the challenges by working more creatively and prudently to provide the best possible services to Dallas residents. Today's challenges will be met, and the result will be a brighter future for Dallas: a city of opportunity, vitality and diversity. As the City contracts to fit the current economy, we are poised to capitalize on the recovery opportunities that will allow us to fulfill our commitment to give future residents of Dallas an even better city than we inherited.
Sincerely, Mary K. Suhm