Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Don't Worry, Be Happy! Everything's Coming Up Roses!

In today's wet SN-L, Greg says he wants to talk to council first about the tax checks. "...He emphasized that the city would take action only if "four or five" checks bring more disappointing news."

SN-L reporter Kary Booher (who wrote the story cited above) said that, "Burris emphasized that there is no rancor between him and the council, all but saying the topic has been overblown." Is the 'topic' sales tax checks, the budget or his relations with the City Council?

Greg may be remembering last February's budget exercise, how quickly that got out control and he doesn't want a repeat.

Something is going on--- Booher reported on Greg's memo form July 17, listing curbs to city services. That memo includes this gem:

"The staffing shortfall is negatively affecting our ability to respond to information requests in a timely manner," Burris wrote. "We will, of course, continue to adhere to the Sunshine Law. While the law provides for us to seek cost recovery for the extensive research time and copying costs necessary to fulfill some of these requests, that does not mean we can recapture that time."

Followed by this gem from Booher's story this morning:
"I think I want to talk to council about it, and I don't want to do all my communicating with the council through the newspaper," Burris said Monday.

But what makes this whole affair so sur-real is that while Greg is saying one check does not a trend make, Marc and Steve are looking at an emergency tax hike

The SN-L's Greg Trotter reported in this morning's SN-L that
At the board's annual retreat Monday, district officials presented new long-range projections that painted a dismal picture of expenditures increasingly outpacing revenue gains over a five-year period.

Dwindled money from state sales taxes and local property taxes -- important sources of school revenue -- is expected to recover from historical low points but not keep pace with expenditures, Steve Chodes, the district's chief financial officer said.

When asked if he considered the levy increase to be an emergency, the man behind the projections chose his words carefully.

"The word 'emergency,' I don't know," Chodes said. "But I would say that if you look at the projections for the next five years, there is a real need, especially when 80 percent of your budget is salary and benefits."

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