Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s cuts to local government that are part of his unallotment strategy to balance the state budget could mean snow-clogged streets here in front of MinnPost.com’s White Bear Lake “bureau.”
Maybe that’s an exaggeration of the situation that will face city residents like me.
Laura Yuen reports for Minnesota Public Radio that White Bear stands to lose $722,000 over the next two years under the plan. But city officials have been building up a rainy day fund — pretending they’re the smart one of the Three Little Pigs and building that brick house — and so essential services shouldn’t be affected.
City Manager Mark Sather said to expect more unfilled jobs at City Hall and the postponement of technical upgrades, such as new software.
But residents will notice some things: a few more dandelions in White Bear Lake parks as city workers cut back on weed-praying and a longer wait for the snow to get plowed.
“The focus will be more on safety and less on convenience,” Sather said. “You know, that difference between plowing snow when it’s 3 inches on a Sunday, or waiting until Monday to do it. People say, ‘I can get through, and I have to drive a little slower because they haven’t been salting and sanding, but the streets are still safe.’ “