Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax doesn’t hang around much at our offices, but he came in today with a small retinue and the first installment of the take-no-prisoners budget he’s going to propose to the City Council.
He says he’s got to carve $63 million out of the $445 million it would take to keep the city on its present course of spending and services. That translates into a loss of 217 city positions, he said.
Our entire editorial board – all five of us – were in on the briefing. We all came away with pretty much the same reaction: Broadnax doesn’t mince words, and he’s not going to soft-pedal the city’s financial predicament (as his predecessor Eric Anderson did two years ago).
I was struck by a phrase: Tacomans will have to “reset expectations – pay the same or a bit more, and get less.” It’s a shame there isn’t more straight talk like that in Washington, D.C.; the country might not be running up deficits our grandchildren won’t be able to pay off.
Look for our editorial on Thursday.