Coral Gables’ Budget: No Relief from Personnel Salaries and Pensions

Let’s take a look at the trends of personnel costs in the last three or four years with the number of positions cut from 875 in 2007-2008 to an estimated 791 in 2010-2011.  We have a city with fewer employees being paid more on average–this is not a formula to reduce pensions and other benefits.

  • Total personnel costs fell by about 6% in the period 2007-2010;
  • But personnel costs per employee increased by 4%;

In the Police Department

  • Total personnel costs are being reduced 4.67% in 2010-2011.
  • This is the first real proposed reduction in the personnel budget for police in three years, and the number of staff positions has fallen by 3.41%.
  • Average police salaries are reduced by an insignificant amount of 1.3%.

For the Fire Department

  • The total personnel budget is being reduced by 3.74%,
  • The number of staff is being reduced by 1.34% and outlay per firefighter increased by 2.43%.
  • Only two Fire Department positions have been eliminated in four years.

A look at the Public Works Department

  • Personnel costs are being reduced by 13.51% in fours years,
  • The number of staff is cut by 14.86% in three years (but very little in the 2010 estimated budget) and
  • The average position costs is increased by 1.59%.

Regarding the Development Service Department

  • Staff numbers have fallen from 70 to 63, or a 10% decline,
  • The personnel budget is expected to fall by only 2.2% in four years,
  • And average staff costs are expected to increase by 8.66%.

In the Information Technology Department

  • Personnel costs are the same as they were in 2007 after rising for two years,
  • The number of staff has been reduced by 6.25% in four years,
  • Average staffing costs have increased by 6.6% in four years, another department in which average employee costs have increased

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

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