New Bedford’s Trying to Reason with COVID-19 Season [OPINION]
Mayor Jon Mitchell and his leadership team are trying to deal with the financial fallout from the COVID-19 virus and the economic shutdown that was required.
I vaguely remember a movie quote about an extremely undesirable sandwich and how everyone is going to have to take a bite. Crude, but accurate.
The Mayor of New Bedford, former federal prosecutor Jon Mitchell, has been making financial decisions for his city in anticipation of that unpleasant sandwich for years. While nobody knew that the sandwich would be a Chinese import, and coming to the table so rapidly, Mayor Mitchell, his first degree in economics from Harvard, knew the unpleasant meal was historically inevitable.
The City of New Bedford has few places to make budget cuts. The police and fire departments are going to take the big hits.
Mayor Mitchell is making some modern changes to the city budget that are innovative and logical. The taxpayers of New Bedford have been supporting a zoo for decades with their money, money that could have gone to other priorities has been spent on monkeys and bears and a fixed-track train for children. I know lots of families outside of New Bedford who have been enjoying the zoo for years.
Mayor Mitchell is moving forward with his plans to privatize the zoo and to remove the burden from his fellow taxpayers in New Bedford. He will face massive pressure from the suburbs that ring his city, but the truth will become evident with every attack on the plan. You can't have money for lions and tigers and bears (OH MY!) and not have money for police and fire and teachers.
Mayor Mitchell has been planning for this; elections have consequences.
Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.