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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Trim or quit?

When do you decide you won't have enough people to do the job right so it would be better to just close up shop? Where and how do you draw that line? Two groups in two Indiana cities are making that decision in the wake of budget problems. The mayor of Muncie says she will close the animal shelter after City Council voted to cut the staff from eight to two employees. Homes will have to be found for the 70 dogs and cats now there, and no more will be taken in. And in South Bend, the Madison Center plans to close a residential program with 94 beds for kids with behavioral issues:

Last week, the DCS informed Madison Center and similar residential programs for youths that they'd see a 4 percent cut in funding for 2010. That's in addition to another 4 percent cut for 2010 that was announced this fall, Houseworth said.

Taelman said that Madison Center then made the tough decision to close two of its residential programs rather than accept the lower funding and "compromise the quality of care."

In the case of the animal shelter, 25 percent of the staff would theoretically be able to handle 25 percent of the current animal load. But with only two people, just covering the hours would be problematical. So that seems like a good call.

The  case of the residential center is tougher. It looks like they're facing a total of an 8 percent cut in the budget in 2010. That might be a tough adjustment to make, but couldn't fewer kids be treated with the same quality of care? Wouldn't that be better than treating none at all?


tim zank
Thu, 12/10/2009 - 2:10pm

Programs like these don't need to be cut if we were able to prioritize. Mark Souders staff costs us just over $1,000,000 a year. That's the cost of his STAFF...that's not including his salary, per diems, air travel, cars, meals, trips, and all the other free "stuff".

I'm not picking on him exclusively, Souder is but one of 9 in Indiana. That's a serious chunk of $$$ boys and girls that could be used a whole lot more effectively..

What's it take to run that