By: Diane Benjamin
Alderman Diana Hauman took it on herself to gather citizen input on the budget. She asked 6 people to look at the budget and look for savings. 2 had to drop off, but 4 with extensive business experience spent months looking at everything. Evidently they aren’t allowed to present their findings because all 4 spoke during public comment at the last meeting instead of doing a presentation. Tari? Tari?
Two of them sent me what was presented. It will take more than one story, but let’s start here:
Salary increases given to Public Works are unsustainable:
Next is healthcare costs:
Probably the easiest part to understand is the chart in the lower right corner. City employees are only contributing 25% of the cost when the private sector is contributing 40%. The maximum out-of-pocket is much higher in the private sector too. This is why I call their insurance: Gold-Plated. If the federal government ever allows the “Cadillac Tax” to go into effect (See Obamacare), the City will be paying a 40% penalty.
Since employees are the biggest expense . . .
the City could at least bring compensation in line with the private sector.
All of the departments submitted cost saving memos, see the HR memo Here
It doesn’t say a word about evaluating benefits. They might be able to not fill 10 low-level jobs – total savings, including pensions and benefits, is only $500,000. I don’t know what jobs these would be since very few employees have total compensation below $50,000.
Not evaluating compensation and benefits means the City isn’t serious about controlling costs. The piggy bank (you) is ripe for more theft by taxes.