Homework For You
OK, campers, once again it's time to put the old Cauldron on simmer for a couple days. Because I will be otherwise occupied, any comments you fire at me will be slow in appearing, but I will eventually get to them. I know, I know - that delays the snappy repartee and the back-and-forth banter... such is life. In the meantime, here's something you can contemplate until I post again.
DOWNLOAD THE BUDGET INFORMATION
First, your assignment for the weekend is to go to the City of Costa Mesa web site, HERE, and download the 2011-2012 Preliminary Budget, (237 pages) the Preliminary Budget Summaries (67 pages) and Tom Hatch's memo on the budget. They are all easy to find - they're near the top of The Latest Headlines section of the home page. Take some time to review some of the numbers - start with Hatch's memo first. The "Summaries" are just the first section of the whole budget and might be easier to begin with. There are some handy definitions right at the beginning that will help you as you navigate through the subsequent pages.
NUMBERS ARE UP
You'll be able to see, in easy-to-understand graphics, where our money comes from and where it's going. Hatch's memo will tell you that the preliminary budget at this point is $117,705,201, up 7.5% from the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. In that memo you'll also learn that the Capital Budget being proposed (the big mantra for some on the City Council) is pegged at $10,449,122 - which represents a whopping 173.63% increase from the current year.
On page 51 of the budget you'll find that the authorized staffing numbers dropped from 611 in the FY 09-10 budget to 489 in this proposed budget. However, it's my understanding that our ACTUAL staff at this point is hovering just under 475, with more departures pending.
LOTS OF INFORMATION AVAILABLE
There's lots of good information available to you in these documents if you actually care to plow through them. The charts and graphs are great for us "image driven" folks... love those purty pitchurs! :-)
STUDY SESSION NEXT TUESDAY
Next Tuesday, May 24th, there will be a Study Session in Council Chambers beginning at 4:30. Normally, a study session is expected to last a couple hours. Hatch, at the last council meeting, anticipated this meeting will last at least 3. That session will be the first of several necessary to hammer out the final product that must be balanced and approved before July 1st. Meetings are tentatively scheduled ever Tuesday from now until the end of June.
There will be a pop quiz when I post again.