Conservative Commission?  Nah…...
Posted: 25 February 2013 08:37 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://www.cityofmanhattan.info/docs/CMFR/december2012financials.pdf

Is this report correct?  It’s published on the City’s website.  If correct, the City spent $1.2 million over and above the 2012 budget.  What good is a budget if you outspend it?

I notice it appears Parks & Rec overspent their 2012 budget by close to $300,000.  The 2013 budget will bust, also, with the addition of employees for the new City operated daycare.  Yet, tomorrow afternoon, a Work Session will find Commissioners discussion spending somewhere between $2 million and $3 million for a new Parks & Rec office.  Sounds like the Commission will use $1.8 million in CIP dollars towards the Parks & Rec office.  Why not take the CIP dollars and put them into a reserve account to pay the bill when the City overspends the 2013 budget????

The new Parks & Rec office will pass through the Commission like grass through a goose.  Parks & Rec has grown into a sacred cow that this Commission will not question.  Pretty soon, Parks & Rec will become even a greater “shadow government” than the Chamber.

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Posted: 26 February 2013 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Larry:  I think the report indicates that 94.9% of the budgeted amount was spent.  This means we are under budget by 5.1%.  The City budgeted $22,048,374 revenue was $23,175,457 – so we are plus about 1.1 Million in receipts.  The budget is not busted, this is a good news report.  If you compare actual expenditures to % of budget spent the following are areas that overspent budget allocation – Airport Admin, Public Safety, City Parks swimming pools, Blue Earth Park, Animal Shelter and Municipal Court.  The city is well into the black on the 2012 budget (though the color use of red may cause a misinterpretation of the data as on some charts red is actually good).  We are not overspent on the 2012 budget and will not be on the 2013 budget. 

The Parks and recreation office is something that needs to be improved.  They are presently in a structure that was a garage.  The facilities are not adequate.  Go down and take a tour of the building to get a feel for it.  We have a huge investment in parks and recreation.  Besides just the facility we have an investment in people.  I was convinced last year that it was time to do something about the working conditions of the folks that are in parks and rec.  Not sure what is the best option, but for sure we need to take some action.  What action is taken depends on funding and priority.  Here is good exercise. Let us say that we can retire enough debt to cover a new parks office and that with the sales tax debt relief the actual city debt will go down a million dollars even with construction of one of these projects - Parks & Recreation, Library, Airport.  Which one is the priority or is nothing funded?

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Posted: 26 February 2013 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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If limited to those three, the airport would take top priority.  Second, reluctantly, would have to be the P&R administration facility.  The library project should have never made it through the Commission.  E-reading will render print on paper obsolete, perhaps in my lifetime.  If not in mine, most certainly in our children’s lifetime.  When offered expansion in existing facilites, the Library Board gave the Commission the proverbial one-finger salute.  It was their way or… Well, they were determined to get their way.  Valuable parking will be lost.  Additional staff will be hired, no matter what was promised. 

I’d rather just see the City pay down the debt and keep whatever they can in reserves.  With the sequestration imminent, we will see education funding slashed.  We will see federal grants that assist social services cut.  The dis-Honorable Governor is doing what he can to cut education funding.  We’re not too far from seeing communities forced to raise property tax to support local school districts.  If the sequestration cuts civil service and contract jobs at Ft. Riley, our sales tax revenues will begin to fall.  Taking on project after costly project, right now, is simply moving blindly foward without any thought as to the future as the politics of shrinking government comes home to roost.

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Posted: 26 February 2013 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I like priority lists.

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