Arizona's Gov. Jan Brewer is backing a plan throughout the state to reward city employees offering practical ideas for triming waste and excessive spending that are used by city government. Who is better qualified to make suggestions about saving money by eliminating waste than an employee who works directly for the city? They can see where waste exists and have a good idea where fat can be trimmed from ongoing projects and bloated programs.
Rewarding city employees for their creative input is a win-win situation for everyone. They save the city and taxpayers money and are rewarded for their creative efforts. Moreover, they help set a standard by which city government should follow in managing the city budget by focusing on eliminating waste and excessive spending before the fact rather than dealing with public outcry afterwards.
The cities in Pinellas County could do well by trying this money-saving approach by at least looking at the idea and discussing how the program could best work in each community. This isn't a new concept and, in some cases, has not worked as well as expected. A lot depends on how the program is managed and who may stand to benefit...or lose.