What I Learned during the Budget Hearing Tonight
September 14, 2010 Leave a comment
I learned a few things from the Commission meeting today.
- The Director of Finance sings the same song every year, and he has for many years. “We have a great millage rate.” “We really need the money.” “We are a great city that needs the money.” “Don’t worry, Miami-Dade is taking a much bigger share of the rate so our tax rate isn’t that bad, really.”
- The City Manager has a plan to reorganize, restructure and right size the city’s government. [I wonder what is the plan and whether we, the citizens, hear about it in more detail.]
- The City Manager feels that the employees have sacrificed a lot and when the economy comes back the sacrifices can be rectified. [Many citizens think it is the taxpayers that have been sacrificing, rather than the employees. Maybe the Manager is just playing up to his staff.]
- One Commissioner reminded us that employees haven’t received salary adjustments for a couple of years. [I am personally reminded that there is been literally no inflation for two years, so their salaries haven’t gone down in real terms for two years.]
- Mr. Kerdyk said that there are 1,000 housing units in “pre-foreclosure” out of 16,000 so times are really, really, tough for the community.
- The City Manager said that there are plenty of candidates for the jobs of police and firefighters. [Economics tells you that we don’t have to pay the police and firefighters as much in these conditions–supply and demand.]
- There are 7 police officers and 2 lieutenants positions that are unfilled and will mostly remain so as a financial buffer.
- The reserves have taken a huge hit because of the FEMA double billing debacle. We just have $3.3 million after repaying FEMA.
- I have the feeling that the City Manager and the Commissioners are praying for a strong economic recovery as a way of digging out of the financial mess. [The City Manager said we have a financial mess (in so many words). Don’t count on a strong economic recovery.
- Nothing, nothing was said about the Biltmore. [Maybe, I missed it.]