When the Music Stops: Succession is More than Filling Seats
State and local governments are handling budget challenges brought on by a major recession and exacerbated by goods- and manufacturing-based taxation systems, increased demands for services, and spiraling costs associated with entitlement programs such as Medicaid. Because personnel expenditures are a large proportion of the budget for any public organization, decision makers must look closely at staff reductions. The aging of the public-sector workforce in addition to anticipated staffing reductions, however, suggests that state and local governments are at a tipping point (Pitt-Catsouphes 2007). These governments already face a dearth of qualified employees who can succeed the estimated 25 percent of the 166.9 million adults in the workforce who will be at least fifty-five or older by 2018 (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2009). Without strategic action to address these workforce issues, even well-intended decisions by high-level elected and appointed officials made to address immediate budget shortfalls will strain the capacity of state and local agencies to provide needed services.
Fredericksen, Elizabeth. (2010). "When the Music Stops: Succession is More than Filling Seats". State and Local Government Review, 42(1), 50-60. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0160323X10368518