Saturday, December 22, 2012
San Angelo City Council approved two items in December without expressly identifying a funding source. The first was a surprise New Year's Eve holiday. while the second approved funding Phase 1 of a downtown Master Developer. It's rare for this council to authorize anything without a clear funding stream.
The last time Council approved a new holiday, the cost was estimated at $135,000. Phase 1 of the Catalyst Urban Development proposal came in at a $90,000 estimated maximum. These total $225,000.
Will Santa deliver a surprise $225,000 to Council? Should that not happen, what plans does the city have to fund these two decision?
The last time council gave an extra holiday to staff, it passed on huge health insurance premium increases to employee and retiree dependents. That move drove nearly 200 people from city sponsored health insurance coverage.
The New Year's Eve holiday comes before Council revisits its pension plan. This is the next area for huge funding increases or benefit cuts. If elected leaders go the same route as under health insurance, expect city contributions to remain steady. Employees will have the choice of stepping up to fund the difference or face dramatic cuts in retirement benefits.
Remember the city can only do what it wants to when funding isn't there.
by PEU Report/State of the Division at 2:39 PM