Monday, October 26, 2009

This Week for State Executives

Here is the life of a cabinet member and other high ranking executives in state government this week. On Monday morning they will get to work and head into their offices as all eyes follow them. They will sit in their offices for a few moments trying to figure out how to manage something that they have never had to deal with before. Layoffs of employees or at least furloughs. Then they will call in their budget directors and deputies in for a meeting to try and get their arms around what else might be cut from the budget before putting the paring knife into peoples wages. There is not much else than can be cut unless the power, phones and heat are turned off. The rest of the week will be more of the same.

In the meantime the rank and file employees will be sitting at their desks and cubicles or driving out to serve the public. They will all be wondering what will happen to their jobs and if the bottom drops out of revenues even more and what will become of them and their families. This crisis will really affect those who are planning to retire in the next year or two as it will influence their retirement checks. These state public servants are probably amongst the last to feel this recessions tremendous force, but it wont be any easier for them.

This budget crisis is unmatched for New Mexico state government in my memory. I have been in public service off and on for 35 years now and have never seen things this scary. I think even the most libertarian legislator will not enjoy what will happen in January when the regular session of the legislature will have to deal with even further cuts.

We should not forget that there will be cuts in public services as a result of all of this. Then many of the taxpayers might see that their money really does work for them.

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