While listening to the auto bailout hearings on C-SPAN, the GM executive mentioned that part of their financial problems was due to "Legacy Costs". Many would say that this is just a Federal issue, I began thinking about it's application to our local situation.
First of all, what are "Legacy Costs"? In their purest sense, they are costs that were created or promised in the past, to be paid for in the future. Un-realistic promises of retirement benefits made as Union concessions when the economy was booming are just one of many.
Locally, these same types of costs are lurking in the background as "unfunded liabilities" which between the City of Woodland and the County of Yolo amount to millions of dollars, specifically in pending retirement for City and County workers. We, as a County and City face the same fate as the auto giants, albeit on a smaller scale.
WJUSD is creating "Legacy Costs" by buying an administration building that will be primarily paid for in the last 10 years of a 30 year contract, setting aside for the moment the necessity argument.
In yesterday's Daily Democrat, the City is seeking a "GRANT" of 2 million dollars to build 30 mobile homes for the low income families. This, in a sound economy, makes good sense, but once the project gets started, how long will it be before the Feds pull the plug and leave us with the project? The State is already proposing to pull the plug on 10 Billion dollars in Capital Improvements, and we should follow its lead by curtailing or eliminating all Capital Expenditures immediately.
When will Government Agencies finally wake up and realize that the pool of monies that were once plentiful are NO LONGER here! If we don't take steps now, we will follow other cities and counties facing bankruptcy.
I urge the City Council of Woodland, WJUSD and the Yolo County Supervisors to put a halt on their spending habits. If they don't, our legacy will be so large, no one will be able to afford to live here.