Wednesday, April 23, 2014

John's Place: Goodies For Everyone....Except You And Me

The general fund is the one that pays for the running of the town. This general fund (operating fund) represents the bulk of revenue and spending by the town to run our police department, parks, the development portion of our Development and Infrastructure Department as well most other town department services such as finance and town clerk.

The 2014-14 town manager recommended general fund spend is approximately $32.3 million. This is an increase of about $4.0 million from this year. That’s 14%.

A Budget For The Employees

There is $1.5 million to increase employee compensation and to add staff positions. The FY 2014/15 recommended budget includes funding for step and merit pay increases for police employees. This added $500,000 one-time adjustment proposed by the Memo of Understanding (MOU-Union Contract) is a 6% increase in pay.

The FY 2014/15 recommended budget includes $1.1 million to implement the market study adjustments and related benefit costs. We’ve already opined that this study is bogus. Any recommended increase based on this study is, therefore, not valid.

Other increased benefit spending includes:
  • Spending for a self-funded model for dental insurance coverage;
  • A modest increase in premiums to fund expected costs in the Town's self-insurance fund; and 
  • An on-site health clinic. 
More Goodies Galore

There are also goodies for various departments and some constituencies:
  • $200,000 for each of the next three years to rewire the circuits for street lights in Sun City Vistoso. 
  • $200,000 for safety measure improvements to the Tangerine and First Avenue/Rancho Vistoso intersection. 
  • $964,800 for replacing seven (7) marked police vehicles ; one (1) general administration vehicle; four (4) trucks; a field groomer and matching funds for ten (10) grant-funded Transit.
  • $200,000 to design a police evidence facility. In 2015/16, an amount of $2.5 million has been identified to construct the facility. 
  • $233,000 for computer. 
A Call For Fiscal Prudence

“Spending” seems to be the credo of the town when projected increased windfall revenues appear all at once.  It might be more fiscally prudent to avoid immediate spending and put some more in the “rainy day (contingent fund)”

We wonder why the town manager didn’t recommend using the windfall revenue to eliminate the utility tax on the citizens? This is the same tax the Majority-4 doubled to fund shortfalls when they first came to office.  They were supposed to give it back. They never did.

How about getting input from the citizens on where to spend their money?


Richard Furash, MBA said...

HIremath is not about "fiscal prudence." From an AZ Star article on April 17, 2014:

Hiremath says he gets frustrated when council members pick apart the budget.

"It's one of those things I really can't comprehend. You get elected officials who say they are fiscally responsible and it's their job to save nickels. It's not really their job to save a nickel. It's really how best to spend the nickel."

Zinkin's motto: Cut costs wherever possible.

Hiremath's motto: Tax and spend.

Richard Furash, MBA said...

Why does our small town needs its own evidence facility?