At the last city council meeting councilman Berry talked about the ‘big gorilla’ in the room. What’s the big gorilla well the police officers and their contract. It’s interesting to note that while the city has a five-year deficit reduction plan that the police get their over time, holiday pay and what ever else they gave up in their letter of understanding with the city last year. Who’s fault is that well the Mayor who did not make sure that they gave it up until the city is out of financial trouble. The council who passed this letter of understanding without seeing how long it was good for. Who’s to say if he’s even the one who did the negotiating in the past his assistant is the one who does that. Councilman Berry pointed out that no one else got their 10% back that the city is still closed one day a week all true. If you haven’t watched the meeting you should he goes on to say that the police get sick days, vacation days, overtime, uniform allowance, personal days rolled into their final compensation package. The Mayor sold the council on the police contract because the city was supposed to see a huge savings in health care never happened the opposite according to what the Mayor said in the Press and Guide.
The budget for 2011-2012 mayor said there was going to be a 2 million dollar surplus not only did the city not have a 2 million dollar surplus the city added 500,000.00 to the deficit. Very simple we lost 2.5 million the surplus that never happened and the 500,000.00 on top of that.
1. How can any of you think just by asking the Mayor if the city is on track with its deficit reduction plan and he say’s we are could you believe that when you have the numbers right in front of your faces?
2. How big does our deficit have to get before you on the council will say NO to the Mayor?
3. Why do you assume that nothing can be done about contracts (councilman Apigian) you said that at the last meeting. Why not vote to have the Mayor go back to them (the police) and ask to extend the letter of understanding?
4. Why do you on the council think the way the Mayor is spending the HO money’s is fine.
5. Why have none of you questioned the Mayor on the cuts he promised even if the HO passed that was at a town hall meeting. You all said more cuts were going to have to be made where are they? Not one of you even ask about this.
6. Why haven’t any of you asked the Mayor why he kept the Eton center in the 2011-2012 budget when he was telling the seniors on the south end of town he was going to close it. Not one of you even made mention of the fact that the Mayor used scare tactics on the seniors in this city.
7. How many failed budgets, over inflated numbers and smoke blown does it take to make you all see?
8. Did you all read the Standard and Poor’s report it states very clearly that it was managements fault (the administration) for the lowering of the city’s rating.
9. How many times does the city have to have our rate lowered from an A+ to an A now to BBB all on this mayors watch.
I’m sorry to say I hope I’m very, very wrong I don’t think so here is who I think will vote yes on the budget. Councilwoman Horvath, Councilman Kosinski,Councilman Apigian Councilman Baron. Those are the ones I think without hesitation will vote yes on the budget based on comments made at recent council meetings, budget meetings, and past history.
I hope councilman Berry who had so much to say about this budget will vote No and councilwoman Hicks Clayton. The for sure No vote will come councilwoman Badalow. Again based on comments made at meetings some questions that have been asked over the past year and past history.
If the numbers for the budget fell short so did the numbers for the deficit reduction plan. They are hand in hand as councilman Berry tried to point out to everyone in the City. You mess with any of it you mess up all of it why is that so hard to see? No the City can’t be on track when the budget added to the deficit. No the City can’t be on track when the new budget proposes 1 million extra to the police department. No the city can’t be on track when one department spends 88,000.00 in two months for fuel. No the city can’t be on track if you listen to councilman Berry and what he was telling all of us. Oh that’s right the Mayor said the city is on track so then of course it must be and he’s been just a beacon of truth over the past 5 years.
I know you haven’t voted on the budget yet, but just hearing some of the comments tells me so much. Please prove me wrong I’ll be the happiest person if proven me wrong. I’ll leave you with this from the Standard&Poor’s report.
We believe the city’s fiances significantly weakened due to management’s overly optimistic budget assumptions and prior failure to make expenditure adjustments. In fiscal 2011, the city drew down its operating reserves by $5.1 million because court revenue came in $1 million under budget, $2 million in accrued sick and vacation leave, and retiree health care benefits had to be paid to police and firefighters under a Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP),, and a structural imbalance persisted.