These people act like we should give a sh*t that they have f'ed everything up...
* a city that continues to face a financial crisis and now is trying to muster public support for INCREASED taxes!
* “We are not going to recognize most of the savings this (fiscal) year,” the mayor said in a phone interview
* officials on Wednesday night projected will be a $1.05 million shortfall for the next fiscal year
* The mayor outlined the array of options considered by the city, ranging from the property tax to still more staff reductions to liquidating assets to bankruptcy
* “Without that BORROWING (1.3 million), we would already be out of money,” he said during the meeting
I'm sick of hearing all this crap... It's the people who RUN things that have gotten us all in this untenable position to begin with! Thank God Cities, counties and states are REQUIRED to get their finances in order... unlike the federal government...
Click here for the original link or read it in it's entirety below,,,
July 7, 2010
Neosho cuts more positions
By Derek Spellman Globe Staff Writer
NEOSHO, Mo. — The same day the city announced it had shed more jobs, Neosho officials outlined the need for a property tax that they say would spare the city from still deeper budget cuts.
Interim City Manager Harlan Moore on Wednesday announced that the city was reducing its rolls by nine positions, mostly by layoffs, spread among the fire, police, finance, public works and general administration staffs, effective immediately. It is the second round of personnel cuts, including layoffs, in the past 10 months for a city that continues to face a financial crisis and now is trying to muster public support for an August property tax measure.
“We lost a lot of good folks today,” Mayor Richard Davidson said, calling the cuts an “unfortunate consequence of the financial crisis” the city faces.
“I absolutely hate the fact that we had to let people go,” he said.
Moore said two of the nine positions were already vacant.
Higher-level positions that will now be vacant include deputy chiefs in both the police and fire departments. In the Police Department, Deputy Chief John Trimble is retiring effective immediately, Chief Dave McCracken said. Trimble’s position will remain vacant.
In the Fire Department, Chief Greg Hickman will retire at the end of this month. Deputy Chief Mike Eads will become the chief, and Eads’ position will remain vacant, Hickman said.
Davidson said the latest round of personnel cuts, instituted partly to help balance the budget for the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, would save the city about $500,000 a year, including salaries and benefits.
“We are not going to recognize most of the savings this (fiscal) year,” the mayor said in a phone interview.
But Davidson also warned that those savings alone would not be enough for the city to weather what officials on Wednesday night projected will be a $1.05 million shortfall for the next fiscal year, even after factoring in the most recent cuts.
“We are over a barrel here, and we have some limited options,” Davidson told a crowd of about two dozen people, including city officials and reporters, at the Lampo Building during the first of a series of public meetings about the city’s financial crisis.
The mayor outlined the array of options considered by the city, ranging from the property tax to still more staff reductions to liquidating assets to bankruptcy, and their respective advantages and disadvantages. Bankruptcy was not a solution, he said.
The city earlier this year forestalled insolvency, at least for another year, when the council agreed to borrow $1.3 million. The mayor on Wednesday warned that the city would face the same predicament in March or April of 2011, barring either a new revenue stream or additional cuts.
“Without that borrowing, we would already be out of money,” he said during the meeting.
Davidson, who was first elected to the City Council in April 2009 and was elected mayor in April of this year, told the crowd that a combination of cost overruns on previous projects, a decline in sales tax revenue because of the recession, previous debt loads assumed by the city, and the depletion of Neosho’s financial reserves had contributed to the city’s financial straits.
Specifics about what would have to be cut from next year’s budget if the property tax fails are still to be determined. During the phone interview, Davidson said the city’s attention in recent months has been concentrated on the latest round of budget cuts. The city also has had to deal with the completion of its regular annual audit as it prepares for another review of its finances by the state auditor.
“We have enough work that needs to be done right now,” he said.
But broadly, Davidson has said the city’s general fund — which pays for city services except water and sewer and the golf course — needs to be shored up. That fund’s primary expenditures are for police and fire protection, he told the crowd Wednesday night.
By the numbers
The city is asking voters on Aug. 3 to raise the city’s property tax ceiling to $1 per $100 of assessed valuation. A $1 levy would generate an estimated $1.15 million a year for the city, and would be assessed on real and personal property starting this year. It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home in Neosho $190 a year.
Independent of the August measure, the city recently received word from the state auditor’s office that the city has the authority to impose a levy up to a ceiling of 42.25 cents per $100 of assessed valuation on real estate only. The city has had that property tax on its books, albeit rolled back to zero, since the late 1990s.
Officials say a 42.25-cent levy would generate about $375,000 — leaving the city with $675,000 in cuts to close next year’s projected shortfall.
One resident on Wednesday night asked Davidson whether the city planned to go ahead and impose a levy of up to 42.25 cents even if the August measure fails.
“That has not been discussed by the council,” Davidson said, although he noted that option was “on the table.”
Davidson said that speaking only for himself, he would have a “hard time” cutting police and fire services, for example, when the city had the chance to raise some revenue through that property tax.
“That is a very tough dilemma,” he said.
And the city also faces a time crunch. The City Council would have to set the rate of any kind of property tax by Sept. 1 in order to start seeing the revenue in January 2011. Davidson said that renders unfeasible the option of posing the tax issue to voters again in November if it fails in August.
The city started the current fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, by laying off nine people within City Hall, and the streets and parks departments. Four other positions that had been vacant remained so, and a 3.75 percent pay cut for city employees was implemented.
That budget called for a total of 119 full-time employees for the current fiscal year. By January, then-City Manager Jan Blase said the city was down to 117 full-time employees.
Blase was later fired by the City Council. He had previously acknowledged that the general fund had borrowed not only from a state loan earmarked for new airport hangars, but also from funds for water and sewer service, hotel and motel tax revenue, and tax increment financing revenue.
Davidson said it was his understanding that all of the nine positions cut Wednesday were full-time jobs.