Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Preliminary Budget Online, In Case You're Interested

Despite being disrespected by Jim Righeimer at the Study Session yesterday, Costa Mesa's Finance and Information Technology Director, Bobby Young, just keeps soldiering on.

Today he and his staff posted two items of interest to those of you who actually follow the budget tribulations each year.  Now available for viewing on the City web site is the 2012/2013 Preliminary Budget.  This is the work product of literally thousands of staff hours in recent months and forms the cornerstone of all municipal activities for the twelve months beginning July 1, 2012.  You can read it HERE.

Also available is the presentation Young attempted to make to the City Council Tuesday.  I say "attempted" because our part-time, part-time petulant, infantile mayor, Eric Bever, cut him off short because he just had to begin the Special City Council meeting that was posted for 7:00.  Apparently our highly-paid labor negotiator had some kind of a conflict - probably had to catch a plane to some exotic place to spend our money!  So, after CEO Tom Hatch used fifteen minutes to explain to the council that the Preliminary Budget WOULD NOT meet all their "wishes and dreams", Young was left with only fifteen minutes to present this very, very important document.  Part of that time was used up by Righeimer in his rant to staff.  You can view Young's presentation HERE.

And, just for some context, you will recall that Righeimer pulled numbers out of the air for the "5-year plan" and - as I told you at the time and a couple times since - is apparently now going to hold the staff's feet to the fire and expect them to turn water into wine.  You can view that plan HERE.  He wants EVERYTHING on that wish list in the budget, then he and his co-conspirators on the council will worry about balancing it.  Of course, if Young does that it will mean a deficit in the area of $12 - $15 million.  The ONLY place to find that kind of money is in salaries and benefits.

The council will next hear about the budget perhaps as early as the next council meeting on Tuesday, May 15th.  More likely it will be presented at the special Study Session on Thursday, May 17th.  It's going to be a bloodbath!

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Anonymous Honesty Problem in CM said...

Here is how it plays out. Young delivers the budget with the wish lists. It's going to CREATE a deficit of somewhere around 10-15 million dollars. Righeimer and Mensinger end up on TV, the Pilot and the Register claiming our own city staff claims we have a budget deficit of $15,000,000 . We have a huge budget crisis in Costa Mesa. Not a revenue problem but a huge spending problem. Sporza , Serna and the others will not question them and just continue to be lapdogs for them.

5/09/2012 04:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Riggy Stinks said...

Young did a great job for what he was asked to do. Bever tossed a big, steaming pile of RIGHEIMER on him.

Young is a smart guy and should do like most of the other smart employees.....RUN! He's got a lot to lose working at Costa Mesa.

Righeimer will create a crisis no matter what the truth is!

5/09/2012 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger valan2 said...

And the scary thing is that it's Righeimer's crisis. I don't recall the Council ever voting to adopt the 5-year wish list. Nor do I recall them voting to direct staff to include the wish list in the budget. (I may have missed something, so please correct me if there was an actual vote.)

This Tuesday, the only direction came from Righeimer. One Council member told staff to revise the budget to create a multi-million dollar deficit. I know staff is between a rock-headed Council and a hard place, but I hope they don't discard their professional ethics and revise the budget to provide the imbalance Righeimer asked for (nearly ordered, but corrected his phrasing at the last second).

If the Council wants to add projects to an already balanced budget, let they propose them and figure out how to pay for them. Transparency includes putting the responsibility on those causing the problem.

5/10/2012 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

valan2, cut that out! Don't you dare try to apply a reasonable approach to governing the city! How dare you?! ;-)

You, of course, are correct. The 5-year plan (wish list) didn't receive a vote of the council... they just let Righeimer rant away, pulling numbers from the air.

The meeting on the 17th is going to be VERY interesting. If Bobby Young did as he was directed by Righeimer last Tuesday and put ALL that stuff into a budget we're looking at a deficit of AT LEAST $12 million - maybe closer to $20 million. Unless Righeimer has figured out how to print money, this fabricated crisis may, in fact, force the city into bankruptcy!

5/10/2012 10:30:00 AM  

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