Monday, July 11, 2011

Council, Comm of Whole - 2012 Budget 6/27

I attended Council and Commitee of the Whole on 6/27 and here's what I saw.

Budget (discussed during COW). We will lose 10%-15% of our General Fund revenue starting in 2012 due to Ohio's approved budget. We are in trouble, and we need to revisit decisions like shared services (fire, police, building dpt, administrative, tax). We should look at outourced payroll. We should force all Village employees and officials to make their own copies and type their own docs. We should elminate cell phones for all but Dpt heads, and in those cases, offer no more than texting. We should discontinue car allowances. We should stop answering the phone and take all calls via voice mail. We should consolidate all data and phone plans to 1 vendor. We should cancel many phone charges we incur today. We shoudl standardize our IT platform. We should stop mailing invoives to residents, unless we charge an additional processing fee. We should invest in energy efficient windows in the admin building. We should invest in LED lighting in the street lamps. These last two come from perm improvements, where we're not suffering as badly. We've got to act NOW, and act boldly. Business as usual is officially dead.

Fireworks. Glad to see we'll pay for 100% of fireworks from private donations. A great event, for sure, but we don't have the resources to pay.

Work Hours. I think setting hours each day with no holiday exclusions is reasonable.

Health Care premium increase. I am uncomfortable with the huge increase in premiums vs last year, however we saved significant $$$ last year and this seems to unravel the savings only. Further, there are concessions by employees which is also a help. I am disappointed but still believe Center For Local Gov'ts Pool is the best option.

Public Housing. Again, I think we are missing out on a potentially lucrative financial situation in exchange for cooperating with the County. We have low income residents, let's not kid ourselves (Section 8 is available to ANY qualifying landlord). And this is a good thing! I think decentralized low income residents are a far superior setup vs concentration a la Over the Rhine in the 1970s-2000s. We should consider participation.

Calender of Events. I like Denice's idea very much and think this rigor can reduce our instances of emergency legislation.

I voted in the affirmative on all votes. Of note: approving health care of which i voted yes per the above.



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