Scenario:The city budget was just approved, and there is no funding mechanism for which some citizens have been asking: a new city recreation center. The initial capital cost estimates for a new center are $28 million, and on-going expenses are estimated at $7 million annually. Sales and property tax revenues have been flat, yet other costs in the budget are increasing, including collective bargaining agreements with three local unions that require a 3.5% increase in salaries for each of the next four years. The city’s total payroll is $87 million, and the payroll for the Parks & Recreation Department is at $9 million.
Your role is City Council member
During a town hall meeting in which the request for a new recreation center is being discussed, role-play your position/role as it relates to this request. The Parks & Recreation Director wants to see the recreation center built because it has always been a dream of his/hers; however, he/she understands the significant cost(s) involved. The City Manager knows that with flat revenues the city cannot possibly afford this project. The City Council member wants to keep an open mind. One citizen wants nothing more than to get this center built. The other citizen wants to ensure taxes do not increase as a result of this proposed project.
Politely engage with one another as you role-play your position,submit a 350-word paper outlining his or her position after having heard the group discussion of the pros and cons of this request for a new recreation center.
Keep in mind the politics of public budgeting and the importance of the city manager and department head to maintain the highest level of ethical standards.
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