11/01/2010Posted by MJ
Forbes and the National Affairs have interesting articles on national pension deficits and public sector unions respectivlely
The Buffalo News reported on LPD and LFD interactions with the common council.
Passuite said he expects four retirements and is asking for $197,736 in sick and vacation buyouts. "Each of these gentlemen has more than 400 sick days," the fire chief said.
Again: get rid of this allowance to buildup rediculous amounts of sick/vacation time. Pay out yearly to avoid these large one-time payments.
LFD food for thought:
Group the platoons into two (AB and CD) half of platoon would man the station in 12 hour shifts and half would be on call the whole day for events that required additional man power. The following 6-day shift the roles would reverse. Ths would enable up to 12 men being paid to be able to respond to a necessary event at any time while only requiring 32 members total (33% reduction). This is dependent on the number of calls. I would enjoy being on call every other day if I could sleep at home, relax at home, work on the house, interact with the kids etc if the number of call ins were reasonable. Do statistics show that it is possible to stay home a whole day without being called in?
Let me know if my math is wrong...
Aldreman are asking for the ability to "reduce their pay" and the garbage system may be phased in.
Although a nice gesture, I don't see the need for the accounting/law complication of the "set my pay rate". I'd rather see what they are looking to give up donated to park upgrades, replacing our trees etc. The types of positive funding that quickly gets lost in budget cutting.
The Buffalo News and LUSJ reported on the budgetary effects of the early retirement buyouts.
Why does the city still allow employees to build up this much unused sick time and holiday pay? It's rare to see a modern day operation that let's someone carry more than 1 week over to the next year and does not buy out the remaining annually.
Reminder: Budget documents are here. I'll be adding some more today.
The LUSJ reported on the Building Dept and the lack of resources that have led to a lapse in the "rental housing blitz"
The city’s street-by-street rental housing inspection effort has slowed considerably this year, Chief Building Inspector Jason Dool said this week.
In discussion with Common Council members about his department’s 2011 budget request, Dool disclosed that it has been several months since his three-man team last blitzed a street to arrange inside-outside inspection of all rental properties on it.
Increased numbers of complaint investigations and permit inspections have kept the team tied up, he said. Departure of two staff memebrs since mid-2009 — a full-time housing inspector and veteran chief inspector Jim McCann — leaves the team running to keep up, Dool said.This is the type of funding that we must make sure is not overally cut. The lack of power to complete the job will only lead to slipping housing values and hold back investment. It is good to see that they have been busy with building permits as they are a barometer of investment. We are one of them.
The Buffalo News reported on the warning against using the fund balance again to help balance the budget.
City Clerk and Budget Director Richard P. Mullaney warned aldermen Monday that the city’s fund balance can’t be used to prevent a tax increase, layoffs or both in the 2011 city budget, because there isn’t enough money available...It should be a rather obvious point. I'd envision the fund being used for last-minute or mid-year hold backs from the state etc. Being used to just balance the budget from the start would only seem to delay the painful decisions.
...A tax increase can be avoided through “cost avoidance,” Mullaney said. But 82 percent of the general fund budget consists of salaries and employee benefits. That’s where the layoff prospect comes in...
I'm rather surprised by the percentage of taxes that goes to labor (82%). It does appear to be around that of major cities (from a quick web search). Of the 18% that's left, where does it go?
The Buffalo News and the LUSJ are reporting on the doom and gloom of the 2011 budget kickoff.
Mayor Michael W. Tucker said Wednesday that layoffs are possible in the 2011 city budget, while Common Council President Richelle J. Pasceri called her colleagues “cowardly” if they’re not open to a tax increase....
This will be our existance for the foreseeable future: budget after budget of nail biting and gap closing. Hopefully someone in the city gov't will initiate the effort on planning how to turn the slow decline around and increase our chances at future growth. Not just small pieces of it but a complete cohesive plan that we can all rally around. Without it, we're all looking at annual tax increases as the years pass by....