Presentation to Commission on 2007-2008 City Budget (2)

I have a few brief comments on the budget:

1) 75% of the budget goes for salaries and benefits. National and international standards for such a wealthy city suggest that this percentage is way too high. 2) The city spends more on salaries, benefits and retirement than it receives in property tax revenues. 3) The current practice of reducing staff by eliminating low level positions misses the mark—better to eliminate excess middle management and upper level positions. 4) The city has huge unfunded retirement liabilities that will only get worse unless the number of staff and benefits are cut. 5) The city government is making limited capital investments. 6) The city has minimal reserves for a rainy day. 6) There may be too many programs funded that subsidize and benefit just a few people and whose financing should be evaluated. (Golf courses, the Country Club, and the trolley are possible examples.)

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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