We’re onto the orders under suspension now; we’re out for the night. Check us out tomorrow, and the print edition on Thursday for more.
Daily Archives: January 29, 2008
Here’s Clancy’s negative spin: If we add up snow removal, the trash bag fees, the airport, fire department and (he doesn’t mention it) the golf course…we’re looking at a $3 million gap. How do we make that up?
O’Brien’s response?: We’re looking at it. The airport negotiations are ongoing, the upward trending revenues in tax liens and police overtimes will help, etc.
Clancy: “Giving the state of the budget, and excusing any significant aberrations…do you expect to have a balanced budget on June 30th?”
O’Brien: “I’m optimistic…excluding snow removal.” He calls that segment “a challenge.”
There’s a lot of guessing and hypotheticals going on between City Auditor James delSignore, CFO Tom Zidelis, City Manager Michael O’Brien and the councilors about why certain revenues and expenditures are up or down.
For example, the conversation about the fire budget–one councilor just raised the spectre of closing more stations; the City Manager called that talk premature.
And now, talk about trash bag fees…again. Did people horde bags last year, thus driving down revenues this year? Are people dumping illegally? Or are people just being more effective in using the bags?
What do you think? And are the fees too much, just right, or not enough?
Why are excise tax collections up? Barbara Haller wants to know, but isn’t getting a good straight answer.
Our first overall impression: There is not NEARLY the doom and gloom we’ve heard from the City Manager in other budget presentations. We’ll see what April’s proposal for 2009 brings, but right now, this wasn’t nearly as dramatic as CMOB has been in the past Almost…hopeful, in a way, at least for this year’s numbers.
Golf course deficit is projected….
- 98% of General Fund Revenues are on budget
- Surpluses in Excise Taxes could offset some shortfalls
- Improvements in Collection Process has results
- Expenditures on target, except for Fire Dept. OT and Snow Removal
- Healthcare costs
- Energy Costs
- FY09 Budget Recommendation will be submitted in April for early deliberation
- Expenditure budget is in line with mid-year projections
- Fire Dept. OT is expected to generate a year end deficit: lower manpower, and more fires
- Police Dept Salaries/OT is projected to generate a surplus
- Fuel costs are through the roof
- Snow removal is in deficit
- FY08 Water and Sewer Revenues are bein affected by lower usage (See, that’s why water conservation is bad!)
- Open Positions will be frozen in both departments
- Looks like we’re on par for revenues so far YTD in Property Taxes and other key areas
- We’re ahead in Motor Vehicle Excise taxes YTD
- Ahead in License and Permit revenues, but those will cool in the second half of the year
- Trash Bag sales may fall behind FY08 revenue estimates
And a bit of revisionist – or at least NFL centric – history from Clancy, who claims that the NFL had to “step in” to get the Patriots game on local networks when Charter wasn’t carrying the NFL Network.
Except that it was more than just Charter—it was a nationwide issue with several cable companies.