After last night's defeat of the 1/4 cent sales tax we're really under the gun. A number of important community services could be cut. We could witness the closing of libraries, crippled EMS, county employee layoffs, cuts to school budgets, and more. So what are the Commissioners going to do to fill the budget gaps and invest in the future?
Now is the time for some seriously creative thinking. I know the County Manager, Staff, and Commissioners have been thinking about this hard. But what would you do? How would you raise one time or recurring funds to keep the lights on?
To me it isn't about eliminating the service you dislike most. There are just too many reasons to keep them all. So many of them we have come to depend on. I dismiss the conservative political frame of "tightening the belt". So often that frame is used to serve agendas. I'm asking for NEW ideas to generate new income. Not cut existing expenses.
As a entrepreneur I have a bunch of ideas. But I wonder how many of them are doable by a local government? How many of them are politically possible? Off the top of my head are there any public services that could be done by private companies in exchange for a cash payment and ongoing cut of profits?
Recently the State eliminated many mental health services. When I heard about this I was appalled. But recently a entrepreneur friend started a private mental health care company to fill the gaps. He's a talented therapist and a gifted business person. Turns out he's serving more people better than government did. So much so his competition is crazy jealous and he's doing very well.
What services could be done by a business better than Orange County government?