MEMORANDUM TO: FROM: DATE: BUDGET TASK FORCE MEMBERS LJB NOVEMBER 30, 2010

SUBJECT: LINGERING BUDGET ISSUES _______________________________________________________________________ _ Apparently the Council did not adopt a budget last evening. Based on our discussion yesterday morning and a review of the proposed budget amendments distributed at the previous Council workshop, it is apparent that some of the Recreation revenues, particularly the “Indoor Rec Facility Rent,” are still significantly overstated. While Johnson has apparently heeded the Task Force’s earlier warning that his original $194,803 was simply irrational, the reduced number ($166,550) will never be realized in 2011. This is just one example of how flawed this budget is on the eve of its adoption. And, of course, we all agree that using “one-time” revenues that may not even materialize (sale of Lillian’s Parking Lot) to balance the Operating Budget is irresponsible. These are representative examples only, there are many others. “New Hires” The Council has done a good job sheltering the $269,000 plus benefits cost of “new hires” in the proposed budget. There has been silence on this subject. I have appended our original presentation (Oct.28) on this subject. If there had been a public discussion of the rationale for these titles to be filled in 2010 the community might have been better served. If anyone is going to tonight’s meeting perhaps this should at least be mentioned. “Missing” Revenues There still appear to be some modest ($42,500 =/-) “missing “ revenues. A brief history of these is presented below. The City Charter is unambiguous: “The proposed Comprehensive Budget submitted to the Council by the Commissioner of Finance … shall begin with a clear general statement

of its contents and shall show in detail all estimated income … for the ensuing fiscal year.” (City Charter Title 4.4.4) And, also at Title 4, for emphasis, Carter law dictates that “The Commissioner of Finance shall provide a detailed estimate of the amount of income from all sources, exclusive of taxes …” Earlier in this budget review process, a series of questions regarding the status of various revenues in the form of approved state aids that were not included in the 2010 or proposed 2011 Comprehensive Budgets were presented to the City Council. To date the Council, as Budget Committee, has not explained why these revenues are missing. Subsequently, at a November 15 meeting with members of a Task Force on the Budget, the Commissioner of Finance was again asked why these revenues have not been budgeted. No satisfactory explanation was given. So we ask again: Where is the $22,500 reimbursement for the City’s 2009 Quadricentennial celebration expenditures and the $20,000 reimbursement for the 2010 “Core Area Mobility Impaired Accessibility Program” improvement? The Quadricentennial award was made by NYSDEC from the State Environmental Protection Fund and the “Spot Improvement Program” grant was awarded by CDTC from federal highway funds made available to the Region. On August 3, 2009, the deputy Commissioner of Finance was by memorandum (copy available) provided with a copy of the Quadricentennial Grant Contract and the corresponding Administrative Guidelines and State Aid Voucher. By December of 2009 Finance had still failed to submit the required reimbursement request despite having been advised of the procedural process five months earlier. Finally, earlier in 2010, an Accounts department staff member completed the reimbursement request. Yesterday, November 29, Public Works affirmed that all the reimbursement documentation for the “Spot Improvement Program” project has been completed. This in spite of the Commissioner of Finance’s November 15 disavowal of any knowledge of the reimbursement request. At that time he referred the Task Force to Commissioner Scirocco. These revenues have never been shown as a line item in the budget. On numerous occasions the mayor’s office was advised, in writing, of the necessity to budget these revenues. Neither the mayor nor Finance met that Charter obligation. These monies must be accounted for as required by Charter law. Here are the questions to be addressed: • • • Why have these revenues NOT been given specific lines in the Revenue Budget? Have these revenues been received? If yes, did the Council amend the budget to receive them?

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If not, why not? If the revenues have not yet been received why are they not budgeted for 2011? Why, as requested on several occasions, did the mayor’s office not include them in the budget?

Failure to meet the Charter requirement that proposed budget “… shall show in detail all estimated income … for the ensuing fiscal year” raises some serious issues that, if not addressed by the Council, should be referred to the Comptroller’s office. This is particularly true because the “missing” revenues are state aids. And Speaking of “Missing” It is noted that the deputy mayor was working at the Greenridge Cemetery this morning although he mayor’s office was dutifully covering for her by saying she was at a meeting in City Hall. Imagine what Johnson and Sutton would do to any other city employee who worked a second job on City time. Addendum NEW TITLES TO COST $269,000 + BENEFITS THE BUDGET MESSAGE MAKES NO REFERENCE TO THE SEVERAL “NEW” TITLES FOUND IN THE PROPOSED 2011 OPERATING BUDGET. ANY “NEW” TITLE OR PROPOSED BUDGET AUTHORITY TO FILL PREVIOUSLY VACANT, UNFUNDED POSITIONS SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE “BUDGET MESSAGE,” ALONG WITH A DETAILED JUSTIFIATION. THE UPFRONT IDENTIFICATION OF NEW TITLES WOULD SERVE TO CONTRAST THEIR IMPORTANCE AND COST WITH THOSE THAT ARE PROPOSED TO BE ELIMINATED AND PROMOTE A POLICY DISCUSSION ON SERVICE PRIORITIES. THE “NEW” TITLES TO BE CREATED AND CURRENTLY VACANT, UNFUNDED POSITIONS PROPOSED TO BE FILLED WITH THE ADOPTION OF THE 2011 BUDGET ARE PRESENTED BELOW BY DEPARTMENT AND COST. FINANCE PRINCIPLE ACCOUNT CLERK MAYOR $44,009 + BENEFITS

HUMAN RESOURCES AD. (9 MONTHS) ACCOUNT CLERK (PHONE SYSTEM) BUILDING INSPECTOR (9 MONTHS) PROGRAM COORDINATOR (REC.) SUPERVISOR (INDOOR REC.) PUBLIC SAFETY CLERK PT (POLICE) ACCOUNTS SENIOR ACCOUNTS CLERK TOTAL ALL “NEW” TITLES

$48,617 + BENEFITS $30,433 + BENEFITS $56,096 + BENEFITS $33,757 + BENEFITS $31,810 + BENEFITS

$20,858 + BENEFITS

$32,653 + BENEFITS $268,844 + BENEFITS

WHILE SOME OF THESE “NEW” TITLES MAY HAVE BEEN REQUESTED TO REPLACE OTHER POSITIONS VACATED THROUGH RETIREMENT OR RESIGNATION, ABSOLUTELY NO ATTEMPT HAS BEEN MADE IN THE BUDGET MESSAGE TO JUSTIFY THEM. ASSUMING A 30% BENEFIT RATE, THE TOTAL BUDGET IMPACT OF THESE “NEW” EMPLOYEES WOULD BE NEARLY $350,000 ANNUALLY. THE FINACE COMMISSIONER’S REQUEST TO SPEND $350,000 NEXT YEAR TO FILL THESE TITLES BEGS SEVERAL QUESTIONS. • • • • • WHY HAVE THEY NOT BEEN REFERENCED IN THE BUDGET MESSAGE? ONLY A LINE-BY-LINE REVIEW OF THE PROPOSED OPERATING BUDGET REVEALS THEM. WHY IS THERE NO JUSTIFICATION OF OR STATEMENT OF NEED FOR THESE NEW POSITIONS? WHY ARE THESE “NEW” TITLES MORE ESSENTIAL FOR THE OPERATION OF CITY GOVERNMENT AND THE PROVISION OF PUBLIC SERVICES THEN CENTRAL DISPATACH? CAN ANY OF THEM BE CONSOLIDATED: FOR EXAMPLE, PAYROLL AND HEALTH INSURANCE ADMINISTRATION WITH HUMAN RESOURCES? THE MAYOR’S OFFICE REASSIGNED THE HUMAN RESOURCES FUNCTION TO THE CITY ATTORNEY IN 2009. IF THE TITLE IS FILLED WILL THE CITY ATTORNEY’S BUDGET BE REDUCED

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PERPORTIONATELY? WHY WHERE TITLES UNFUNDED IN THE 2010 BUDGET RESTORED (FOR EXAMPLE, THE HELP DECK TECH)? THE PUBLIC HAS BEEN TOLD TIME AND TIME AGAIN THAT OVER 80% OF THE OPERATING BUDGET IS PERSONNEL COST SO WHEN THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES TO REDUCE THOSE COSTS THROUGH ATTRITION WHY ARE NEW POSITIONS BEING CREATED?

ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS AND THOSE PRESENTED IN THE TASK FORCE’S OCTOBER 19 NARRATIVE ON REVENUES MUST BE ADDRESSED BEFORE THE NEXT PUBLIC HEARING. THE CITY CHARTER IS CLEAR. “THE COMMISSIONER OF FINANCE SHALL PREPARE A BUDGET MESSAGE IN WRITING THAT SHALL EXPLAIN THE PROPOSED BUDGET BOTH FISCALLY AND PROGRAMMATICALLY.” THIS AND THE REQUIRED “FINANCIAL PLAN” ARE YET TO BE COMPLETED. Submitted to City Council at public hearing on Oct. 28, 2010

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