Where to start cuts
POINTER: The New Ulm City Council set its maximum tax levy for the coming year at 19 percent this week, as it begins its serious budget considerations. The 19 percent is the maximum the state will allow, but as in past years, the council will be looking for ways to cut back on that figure as it sets its final budget.
We have a suggestion for the council as it starts sharpening its budget axe for the coming year. Start by rescinding the pay increase for the mayor and city council passed earlier this summer. We realize the total amount in the pay increase - $13,900 annually - won't be a drop in the bucket in comparison to the city's budget total, but from a leadership and morale standpoint, it will do wonders for the city staff whose budgets you will be slashing once again.
We know there were many good reasons for the increase - that it has been five years since the last one, that it brings the city into the middle of comparable cities, and so on. But the timing is not right. If councilors are going to be going back to the Park and Recreation Department and Library operations, and asking other departments to cut back, they should be able to say, "Follow our example."
Beer sales at game
THUMBS DOWN: The University of Minnesota is going to go ahead with beer and wine sales at Gopher football games at TCF?Bank Stadium this year.
Starting with today's game against the University of New Hampshire, the U will be selling beer and wine in two spots, on the west plaza in the stadium, and in an overflow area outside of Gate A. Both are far away from the student section, and the U is taking special pains to make sure underage spectators aren't served.
They took one big precaution by setting the price for a beer at $7.50. We don't think many students would be willing to pay the price of a six-pack for one beer.
United Way coming
THUMBS UP: The United Way of Brown County is kicking off its 2012 campaign on Sept. 13 with an event at Carl's Corner in Beautiful Downtown Essig.
The United Way does a lot of good things for the people of the county, from supporting local service organizations, to helping pay activity fees for kids, to providing backpacks full of school supplies for local students.
Since it does so much for us, we hope people will do what they can for the United Way.