I thoroughly enjoyed your insightful rumblings; however, I think that you missed one. The City is currently going through a job evaluation for City employees. The report has been posted on the City's website although you have to somewhat search for it. This is the link:http://www.cityofmiddletown.com/content/117/121/161/9831/default.aspx
It's going to be interesting to see what the City does with this study and how will it effect this budget - can you say appropriations. Maybe we shouldn't worry about it too much - there have been previous studies that the results of weren't implemented such as the one of the Water and Sewer Department. And others such as the consolidation task force that were implemented immediately such as the combining of personnel duties into the Office of General Counsel.
This is about the third job study done by the City; the first being the Thompson study and then the Maximus Study with various outcomes. The Maximus Study (btw, the company behind the study is no longer in business, I believe) generated some sort of scoring system which is not shared with the employees. One of the studies resulted in the Teamster (or whatever union they now are) union negotiating changing the hours the members were paid from 35 hours per week to 40 hours in exchange for accepting the suggested hourly payscale. In essence: we think that your hourly pay is too high so we'll pay you more hours.
Going to be interesting to say the least.