Friday, December 17, 2010
Daily Thoughts 12/17/2010
I have been reading some more of Keith Richards Life. It is a wonderful book; honest with music, soul, and hard driving ambition. He does not leave out the harder bits and the darker side of life which makes it even more intriguing.
This morning, I spent some time putting together a list of job links for the website. I tried to focus on local job resources in Westchester County and New York. I also did some weeding and checked the displays. I still have to work on a how to section for the website with my colleagues.
In the afternoon, I've been working with a colleague on a how to section for the library website, or in computer terms, a f.a.q. (frequently asked questions) section.
I sent some follow up emails to the people who were at Tech Drinks XXmas today. I always like to followup. I am thinking about my experience. I will probably write a little more tomorrow.
Sometimes, you find interesting statements in places. There are issues which need to be brought out into the open. In November 2010, the city decided that money that was paid out to the staff for raises was not appropriated from November of 2009. It is a sudden move that was unexpected. The money was already paid out in January of 2010. I distinctly remember getting the check with back pay. This would amount to an additional $350,000 which was already paid out to the staff. This would add to the debt from the city.
There was also the $180,000 year end charge this month in December which led to termination of three staff, three retirements, and six demotions. This brings the actual to cut to over $1,000,000.
I am also hearing a number of different opinions on the city budget. There was a tax increase of 5.54% which is higher than inflation which in November was 1.1%. The Fire Department and the Police Department budget stayed close to the same as last year with new equipment and there were increases in the Department of Public Works which went from 12,505,756 to 12,563,153 and the Recreation Department went from 1,859,817 to 2,335,874. The two departments that were hit hardest were the Department of Planning which recieved an approximately $1million dollar cut and the library which recieved an approximately $500,000 cut. There were also ten new positions added including an Inspector General position which some people question. On November 19, 2010 the mayor promised no layoffs for people who work in the city.
The library is in a kind of nebulous state between the city and the school district. Next year, the library may come up for a vote. The vote would remove the library from the cities control and make it a school district library which would have a budget that was voted on and a board of trustees that was voted on. The budget amount of the vote will be based on the last years cost of the library. The city could be trying to cut the total amount being voted on next year.
This budget is not about pain, it is about priorities. Do the taxpayers want recreation and infrastructure like streetlights, bridges, and roads or libraries, education, and planning. It seems infrastructure building and recreational activities are what people want right now. Not everyone feels the pain in this budget.
Mount Vernon City Budget
A Message From The Board of Trustees of the Mount Vernon Public Library