Tuesday, September 25, 2012

City Raises Budget In Spite of Deficit Spending...

Below is a transcript of part of this video Section 14:45-48:26
Buffalo City Council Meeting September 24th 2012
My Comments Are In Red

Mayor Mead: Next thing on our agenda, is our revised budget for fiscal year September 30th of twelve. This was last years budget that's been revised to meet actual's.

Alderman Horn: So... I have a question. I have a lot of questions. Why do we revise the budget? Can you explain that?

City Administrator: Because if any department is over budget and you don't revise the budget, then you get a nix on your audit report that says you're not meeting your budgetary requirements, for budgeting things before you purchase them.

Alderman Horn: So... Why did we not just raise the categories that went over budget? There's other things that didn't go over budget that got raised and there's something to do with this mayor's discretionary fund,  that has disappeared. It was in the budget but...

City Administrator: Because I moved it to the capital where the people, where the money was actually spent.

Alderman Horn: Why?

City Administrator: Because that, any capital items need to be accounted for in the department that spent the money. I tallied up $81,917.06 that was already included in the actual capital amount spent in each department, as of August 2012.

Alderman Horn: So we didn't account for whenever the mayor's discretionary was used, we didn't account for that in a different category? So that we would know.

City Administrator: No it went into each departments capital items. Because that $40,000 was the money that was left to spend capital wise and the board gave the mayor the authority to decide how those items were going to be used throughout the year, last year.

Alderman Stafford: Whoa back up.

City Administrator: K

Alderman Stafford: The 40,000 discretionary fund the board had the decision on how it was to be spent?

City Administrator: Not really.

Alderman Stafford: That's right no.

Mayor Mead: Let me explain procedurely what, how that happened. This year we were in the red, we had to account for $66,000.  Last year we had $40,000 on the plus side. So instead of the board going through everyone's wish list and deciding whether or not Roger got two reams of paper, or whether Gus got a ream and a half a piece paper, the police department got half a ream of paper, the board voted, and I didn't get a vote on that, the board voted five to one, that we're not gonna spend meeting after meeting, hour after hour, deciding what department gets what.  We're going to let the mayor decide what department gets what, as needs arise in the fiscal year. My point in asking is if we have a category in the budget I'd like to see when we have expenditures in that category.  This particular category was actually dissolved into the budget with no actual figures given in regards to how it was spent.

Alderman Stafford: So Debby (City Administrator) you took the mayors discretionary fund from 0 and spread it through the other departments?

City Administrator: It was put in the, to go with the capital where it was spent yes.

Alderman Stafford: So he still has the authority to do what he wants to with the cities money, without council approval?

Mayor Mead: No authority was ever vested.

Alderman Stafford: I'm not going to vote for this, I'll tell ya why. Until the mayors, the ordinances are put in place, and we know exactly how much authority the mayor's got to spend, this ordinance as far as I'm concerned, this budget can set here till Christmas. Because I mean, the rest of you can pass it, you can do whatever you want to, but I want to know, I don't want to come up with $3,000 worth of paintings again on a bill for us to approve. This council still has the authority, the binding authority elected by the people to make sure that their dollars are spent in a good trustworthy way.  I'm not going to approve this budget until such time as I know how much money we've spent. And who's got the authority to spend it.

Alderman Horn: I guess what raised my concerns was the budget for the Administration was $269,954 we've raised it in the revised budget to $277,358 but the actual spent as of August, (which I realize there will be more in September) was $233,378. So why did we raise that one if we didn't go over?  That goes on with the Police Department the same thing. As of August 31st we still had $36,576 remaining in the administration budget.  The amount actually spent in August was $13,737.97.  It didn't go over unless we spent $36,576 in September so why raise it $7,404?

City Administrator: Well it was raised because Risa (New Employee) was hired so I added her to the salaries under admin and I added the capital expenditures of $3,000. I didn't touch anything else besides where the board had decided or the mayor had decided to spend the money. There were already capital expenditures of $3,900.34 accounted for as of August 31st 2012 so this does not answer the question.

Alderman Horn: And as far as the police department the budget was $404,859 they spent $340,848 and we've raised it to $429,477. Again the police department had $64,010.71 remaining in their budget as of August 31st 2012.  They spent $27,584.44 in August.  One additional officer was hired.  Unless they spent $64,010.71 in September I don't see a reason to raise their budget $24,618.

City Administrator: Because we raised it for the capital items for the police cars that were purchased. The capital for police cars $30,035.44 is included in the August actual figures of $340,848.29

Alderman Horn: Purchased?

City Administrator: With the boards authority.

Alderman Horn: When?

City Administrator: When did you guys purchase police cars? I don't have a clue. Police cars were purchased before I was elected in April 2012... The bill has been paid and would be (or should be) included in the actual's that each council member is given monthly.

Alderman Stafford: We purchased those last year why put them in this years budget?

City Administrator: Because they were in this last years, this is last years revised budget.

Mayor Mead: This is last years Jess (Alderman Stafford)

Alderman Stafford: But we're approving this years budget.

Alderman Horn: Yes but they would be in this total spent. This is the actual's spent.

Alderman Stafford: This is the budget that we're going to live by for the next 12 months.

City Administrator: No this is the budget we're going to live by for the next nine days. No I'm sorry six days. To close out this fiscal year. This revised budget was increased $40,000

Alderman Stafford: Where's the budget for next year?

City Administrator: This one, it's next.

Alderman Horn: So we haven't approved to buy any police cars in the next nine days.

City Administrator: No

Alderman Horn: We already bought those.

City Administrator: You already bought the police cars I'm just trying to fix your accounting to account for the fact that you bought the police cars. The line item for capital improvements of $30,035.44 is accounted for in the capital line item that is on my printout for August... 

Alderman Horn: Then why

City Administrator: Because you did not revise your budget when you made the motion to purchase the police cars.

Alderman Horn: Ok I know but when did we purchase the police cars? Would it be in our actual's that are on this, what I got for the August meeting?

City Administrator: It should be I don't remember when the police cars were purchased.

Alderman Horn: Because it says $340,000 was spent for the police department and we've raised that in this revised budget to $429,477.

City Administrator: Because we, I didn't look at every single line to see exactly how much money they were going to spend for the rest of the fiscal year.  I just corrected the lines that were out of, that were gonna be out of balance for the year, meaning the police cars that were purchased and then.

Alderman Horn: What I'm saying is if we already purchased the police cars it would already be in this actual amount.

Alderman Stafford: Was that the $26,000 we spent on vehicle maintenance?

Audience Member: I have a question the very first number that Kristie Horn

Mayor Mead: Let's hold off

Audience Member: shot out is that the original number you guys had on your budget and you just changed it?

Alderman Horn: The original budgeted amount for, just say police department was $404,859. It's been raised for the revised budget to $429,477. As of August 31st this says that we spent $340,848.29 in the police department category. So I'm just asking why we've raised it, raised their budget so much in this revised budget?

City Administrator: Because it was raised based on individual purchases big capital purchases those police cars. I don't know what exactly has been spent on the police department.  Last month in the what you guys approved..

Alderman Horn: Well unless we approved to buy police cars in September it should be in this August actual's.

City Administrator: No because you paid bills the first of September. And you've also been paying wages. The police cars were purchased before April 2012.. the figures are in the actual's... 

Alderman Horn: But we didn't buy police cars...

City Administrator: No

Alderman Ferrell: We've had them three, four or five months.

Mayor Mead: And that probably will, was the police cars, the program for the police department was something that probably most likely come out of that mayor's discretionary fund. The capital amount of $30,035.44 is already included in the actual spending of $340,848.29

Alderman Stafford: Are you saying Debby (City Administrator) that the $404,000 to the $429,000 is basically salaries?

City Administrator: I don't even have the right... Let me go grab the right minute book cause I don't even have the right minute book. The question goes unanswered.

Alderman Horn: The August actual's say that we spent $27,584 for the police department. So I'm just going to assume that those are for salaries and maybe... We did hire another officer so it would be a little bit higher but they still had $64,000 left in their budget. So I don't understand why we've raised this unless we spent over $64,000 in their budget because they didn't go over.

Alderman Stafford: That $429,000 and $277,000 is for next years budget.

Alderman Horn: That's what they want to revise 2012 to.

Conversation is held in regards to the budget being discussed.
Waiting for City Administrator to re-enter the room...

Alderman Stafford: Where did this $30,000 come from I mean where did it go?

Alderman Rieschel: Which page are you on?

Alderman Stafford: I'm on page two. It says capital expenditures of $30,050. The original budget was $0 and the revised budget is $30,000 what constitutes the other $30,000?

Mayor Mead: Probably the two police cars. They were around $14,000 to $15,000 apiece.

Alderman Horn: But whenever we purchased those police cars it would have been in the bills that we approved and it would have showed up in our actual's. We have, we're given each month the approved budget, the August actual's or month to month actual's, and the total for the year.

Mayor Mead: Maybe it came from the mayor's discretionary fund. I think is where that came from.

Alderman Horn: What?

Mayor Mead: Maybe it came from somewhere else in the budget.

City Attorney: I think what Kristie's (Alderman Horn) asking is when would the, when was the payment for the car made by the city and I think that it was before August is what...

Alderman Stafford: It was way prior to that because they purchased the police cars for the police department prior to the time that I came.

Alderman Horn: That's what I was thinking. Because I don't recall ever doing that.

Alderman Stafford: We didn't.

Alderman Horn: So that bill would have been paid.

City Attorney: That's right.

Alderman Stafford: Right. The bill was paid. My question is how come it just now shows up? I'm not arguing the $30,000. I mean if the $30,000 is two police cars, it's two police cars but why did it not come out on the actual expenses on a monthly basis? Why did it come up at the end of the year? Is that what you're asking?

Alderman Horn: I don't think it did. I think it is in this actual amount and my question is why are we increasing the police departments budget so much when they did not go over? They didn't need to have that increased. The community center went over budget, the airport went over budget, I believe the Fire Department possibly will and the recycling no no the Fire Department and the Pound possibly will because they're very close. But those were the only things that I seen that went over budget and I was just wanting to know why we're revising the budget and raising these other departments when they didn't actually go over?

Alderman Rieschel: The bottom line is when they audited us, we passed. The money that we have spent the last year is gone. It's been spent. We're not for last year, we're doing nothing more than Debby (City Administrator) is having what we spent match our budget. We're not voting to spend any money. When the auditor comes down here and looks at the books I'm not going to be there. I don't have a problem with it adjusting last years budget. Debby has been working at this all year long.

City Administrator: Ok, so like for the police department if based on the bills that have been paid out as of today based on what's in the glt which does not come even close to matching the numbers that you have it's $368,914 And then you add on one more payroll that's gonna take it up to $381,788. This amount is still not over the budgeted amount for the police department so my question still stands... Why are we raising it? I did not do that for every department because it's very time consuming it took me five minutes and I could have easily missed something and if I would've done this a week ago to have put this together for the budget you're talking two more days of work just to get the numbers exact. I was just trying to take the capital items and put them back into the budget. The only other way around this is anytime you guys decide to spend something that you  did not budget we need to stop every month and do a new budget. Because this is what happens when you all make motions to spend stuff that isn't in the budget. We have to revise it at the end of the fiscal year to clean it up.

Alderman Horn: Ok the largest amount of money that I heard you say and you said it really quick I couldn't write it down it's still not over $404,859 that was budgeted for the police department. So my question is, why then are we raising their budget in the revised budget to $429,477?

City Administrator: Because no one told me to go back and figure out exactly what each department spent for the fiscal year so we cold make sure they were within budget.

Mayor Mead: So we budget a little bit over that way we...

City Administrator: I just changed the capital items or any line that was majorly over budget to fix it so we could pass the new budget so we could move on to the next year. I didn't go through every line by line because that would be extremely time consuming to go through every line and anticipate their purchases for the next, I mean if I did it a month out when the budget ended that makes me have to anticipate purchases, anticipate payroll, for a one month period. It's very time consuming.

Alderman Horn: So your first answer that that was for the police cars was not correct?

City Administrator: No that is correct it is that's what was increased for was the police cars under the capital items. $30,050.

Alderman Horn: Which was paid when?

City Administrator: Let me grab the minute book.
The question goes unanswered.

Alderman Rieschel: Mr. Mayor I'll make a motion we revise last years budget as submitted.

Mayor Mead: Is there a second?

Alderman Piper: I'll second it.

Mayor Mead: We have a motion... Miss Polston? (City Administrator)

City Administrator: Did somebody second it?

Mayor Mead: Yea we have a motion and a second I'll call for a roll.

Alderman Stafford: Now this is last years budget we're just balancing last years budget?

Alderman Rieschel: You're exactly right. I don't want to make a career out of last years budget.

Alderman Rieschel, Stafford, Hicks, Ferrel, Piper vote Yes

Alderman Horn: vote No.

2013 Fiscal Budget

Mayor Mead: The next item on our agenda is the budget for fiscal year 9/30/13 We have a budget attached to this agenda which is next years budget. It does not have that mayor's discretion that Mr. Stafford commented on. Does anyone have an alternative budget to present?

Alderman Horn: I do not have an alternative budget but I do have something I wanted to show you just to explain why I'm making the decision I'm making. I won't take a lot of your time but I'll hurry.

Mayor Mead: Well we haven't called for a vote yet.

Alderman Horn: That's right, I would like to present why I feel the way I feel if that's all right with you.

Mayor Mead: I yield the floor.

Alderman Horn: I asked Debby (City Administrator) if she would please give me some actual figures for the last two years. I'm not an accountant but I do want to try to make a good educated decision. What I was given were these two forms and I took the total revenue which is here, and I also took the total expenditures which is here on both of them if you would like to see them. Now I put them together and printed these for you if you would like to look at it I just wanted everyone to understand that I am not trying to cause problems. I just feel that we have not considered this current budget in an educated manner. We spent as of, in 2010 we spent over what we made $85,393. From what I understand from these that I was given from Debby. In September 2011 I understand that we overspent by $126,250 and then this past year it's my understanding that we overspent as of $193,889.  That's over what we brought in.  I know we have a carryover, maybe we have extra money in the bank somewhere else, maybe you don't care, it's ok. I just wanted to share it with you as to why I will not vote for this budget. And that's all.
As of August 2012 the cities revenues were $1,002,837.95.  The 2012/2013 proposed revenue is $1,065,500. 

City Administrator: Do you have a copy for the minute book?

At the end of September 2010 
Total Revenue +$1042,787.21
Total Expenditures -$1,128,180.77
Difference -$85,393.56

At the end of September 2011
Total Revenue +$1,113,080.22
Total Expenditures -$1,239,330.38
Difference -$126,250.16

At the end of August 2012 (1 Month Remaining in Fiscal Year)
Total Revenue +$1,002,837.95
Total Expenditures -$1,196,727.25
Difference -$193,889.30

Alderman Horn: Yea you can have, I'll get you one. I am not an accountant I could have made lots of mistakes and I probably did but this is my understanding from what I received and I'll base my vote on that.

Alderman Stafford: Let me ask you this Kristie, did you put the sewer and water expenditures in this?

Alderman Horn: No this is just General Revenue. I didn't look at anything else.

Alderman Rieschel: And I assume Locust street is in here?

Alderman Horn: No that's just General Revenue.  I didn't do Transportation Fund or Water and Sewer Fund at all.

Alderman Rieschel: Mr. Mayor may I comment?

Mayor Mead: Yes

Alderman Rieschel: Kristie do you have a suggestion on cuts on our budget?

Alderman Horn: I would have liked to have us discuss that together and work together on it. I do not feel like I should be doing that by myself.

Alderman Rieschel: You know we went through the budget I think as meticulously as we could. We removed phones and we're just about in my opinion down to the essentials. Where you cut salaries, what do you do now? I don't think that would be a very popular idea. The city and part of it I assume is the economy.  As long as we can afford not to make those cuts this year it's my opinion that we shouldn't. We may get to the point where we have no choice. But to cut drastically it's just my opinion from what I've seen that we've cut every non emergency thing that we can cut and if there's anybody on the council that has something else that we can cut I'd like to know what it is.  Otherwise I don't know that we have a lot of choice at this point and I know you make the motion before you have the discussion on the budget so I'm going to make a motion, is the salary part of the budget Debby?

City Administrator: No it's a separate.

Alderman Piper: Wayne (Alderman Rieschel) I can't see cutting salaries but I do think there's about three or four people that's not productive enough. I won't mention the names here, I won't go into it but I think them people not being productive enough is the reason for requiring more help.

Alderman Rieschel: We've talked about a system of reporting to supervisors, grading if you will employee's. We do not have that in effect at this time. Before we start dropping the ax or dropping salaries, I don't practice employment law, I never did. But I think a drop in wages is considered a demotion is it not?

City Attorney: It is. Missouri's also an employment at will state.

Alderman Rieschel: Yea that's true. (?) I agree with you Jim (Alderman Piper) That we may need to look if there's some dead weight but I don't know if we can do anything about that at budget time. This is something we need to set up for future events.

Alderman Piper: I think it needs to be looked at.

Alderman Rieschel: I don't see anything that, I mean we talked about candy bars. I don't know of anything else, you now we've gotta provide these services we could cut out recycling and save money. But I think it's the consensus of the board that we not do that. We could cut out animal control.

Alderman Piper: Wayne that's another one, that's another place, I never have really disagreed with the council but I am tonight. Let me tell you why.

Alderman Rieschel: In which regard?

Alderman Piper: Animal control. Is it animal control or is it a sanctuary? Let me tell you why I say that. Down here where I'm working now I've been there for two weeks this last week, two mornings I go shoveling fresh dog manure up out of the yard I take it out to the drive and throw it under the whist? The dogs run loose down there. Before that I spent two weeks down north at the north end of town here, Wayne when the sun goes down the mosquito's eat ya up but when the sun comes up, the starved to death cats come up out of those wrecked cars. We're taking care of the one's out at the shelter but are we being fair to the one's that's starving? I guess you gotta find something good about it. The only thing I can find good about it is them starved cats there is no mice and rats down North of town. That's the only good thing I can see about it. But our animal shelter's run like a sanctuary to me.

Alderman Rieschel: Right

Alderman Piper: I'm sorry.

Alderman Rieschel: And I guess tonight we're here to discuss the budget and with that in mind Debby I assume that you feel comfortable with the budget?

City Administrator: This was exactly what we talked about at the end of the last meeting.

Alderman Rieschel: I make a motion we adopt the budget for 2012/2013.

Alderman Horn: My last comment that I would like on the record is that we did not cut this budget. It's actually been raised $61,140 (The actual amount is $64,140 I misspoke) If you take out that carryover amount of $400,000 for this last year, yes we only have $200,000 for this year because we've spent half of it. The bottom line is $61,000 $64,140 more than last years budget.

Mayor Mead: We have a motion is there a second?

Alderman Piper: Yes

Mayor Mead: We have a second, I'll call for a role for vote.

Alderman Rieschel: Before you do... now's the time for discussion if anybody wants to comment.

Mayor Mead: Is there any further discussion?

Alderman Stafford: I have a comment just what I said. I'm not against the budget but I'm not going to let this budget be an open check book to do what you want to without approval of the council. That's it.

Alderman Rieschel: Jess I don't think that it's in there.

Alderman Stafford: No Wayne, it wasn't in last years either. You voted to give discretionary money. I went from a $40,000 surplus to $61,000 deficit.  That's kinda strong. $100,000 swing. I just think there was way too much money spent that are the cities money without approval of the council. I've said my say.

Alderman Rieschel: And I will support you on the vast majority of what you're saying on an ordinance.

Alderman Stafford: Right because the ordinance is the ordinance but this seems to me is a dollar and cents it's an open check book until it's controlled. You gentlemen can pass it, please pass it but I'm not gonna change my mind. As far as I'm concerned about the open check book and city money being spent without the approval of the six people on this council. And that's my right.

Mayor Mead: Is there any other discussion?

Alderman Ferrell: Is there a discretionary fund at this time? Is there a discretionary fund now?

Alderman Stafford: There is none. I'm not saying that the budgets not right. It is the budget and we're going to have to live with it. It's just that I want to see how the dollars are spent on the day to day basis. It's not here. You gotta have the budget and it should be approved but I'm just not gonna do it. Until the ordinances are changed to have more control we've got to go with the budget. Mines just a protest vote, it's just me, it's just.

Alderman Ferrell: When's that gonna come up? I know we worked on it a while back.

Alderman Stafford: We're gonna have to redo it. We're going to have to do it because whenever we get it we have to we're changing about 20 different ordinances I believe was that right?

City Attorney: About six

Alderman Stafford: About six and we had to make sure that the six we were changing were not being changed for the worse. I'm hoping that what we're changing is for the better. So that everything we do is not a discussion a year from now. Its why our budget did not balance. It's a safeguard for the citizens of Buffalo. It's a safeguard for the council. I think you ought to pass the budget. Then I think we better do I think the revisions on the spending ordinances got to be changed. It can be done at a later date. Mines a protest vote. I looked at $3,000 worth of money last Thursday night and I just went bonkers I'm sorry. That's just me. That's my statement call for a second vote for the budget but I've said what I wanted to say.

Mayor Mead: Is there anymore discussion? I will call for a role of the vote.

City Administrator: Wayne:

Alderman Rieschel: Aye

City Administrator: James

Alderman Ferrell: Aye

City Administrator: Jim?

Alderman Piper: Aye

City Administrator: Kristie?

Alderman Horn: No.

City Administrator: Jess?

Alderman Stafford: No

City Administrator: Larry?

Alderman Hicks: No

Mayor Mead: I'll cast the tie breaking vote and the budget is approved.

Click here to view the video...

No comments:

Post a Comment