Suhm Tells Council She Never Counted Flow Control Dollars When Prepping Budget Preview

Categories: City Hall
SuhmAtBudget212012.jpg
We told you Friday: Very, very, very, very early guesstimates at City Hall have the city short anywhere from $49 million to $87 million when it comes to putting together the FY2012-13 budget. City Manager Mary Suhm repeated that this morning: "We're very early in the process." The city's chief financial offer, Jeanne Chipperfield, added to that: "We anticipate a number of changes" before the final number's nailed down. At which point she walked the council through the PowerPoint we powerpointed you to at week's end.

Suhm chimed in about a few specific items, such as giving raises and cutting out those furlough days. Said the city manager, two years' worth of layoffs have "left people doing a great deal more work than we had before ... and it's very important we recognize that burden." Because, said Suhm, "as the economy recovers they have options" to go elsewhere, and she's concerned about losing 'em to the private sector.

And when it comes to upping dollars for street-striping and sign replacement: "It's a safety issue, and there's no way not to get this done this year." Ann Margolin said she's talked to two Dallas County commissioners about using some matching funds from the county; Suhm said, yup, we're lookin' at that. "Bike lane striping too." Ah.

Linda Koop, channeling Dwaine Caraway, asked Suhm: So, how much money has the city made now that beer and wine sales are allowed citywide? Suhm said she had no idea. "Any idea at all?" Koop pressed.

"I could give you my personal idea but not much otherwise," Suhm said. "It just shifted things around. I may be wrong about that." But, she made sure to note: "You'll have grocery stores in parts of the city and Sam's where they weren't before" the November 2010 referendum. "So that is an increment you will achieve."

Council didn't have much to say about this sneak peek. And Margolin was the only one to note the giant waste-hauling elephant in the room, asking Suhm whether the budget predictions include the $15 million to $18 million promised upon the enactment of the flow control ordinance supposed to kick in last month but shot down yesterday.

"Not in here," said Suhm. "Never was."
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11 comments
Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Suhm knew better than to put that ghost money in her budget,surely there was something going to be done with it,what? I was in Portland and they have bike strip lanes and I called City and what they said seem simple,dedicating roadway,measurements traffic flow test and paint how that cost 16 million?Also city could buy street stripping and assign one man to do nothing but that one job all over city and do private lots and charge fee bring in revenue.They can but pot hole fixing machine like Fort Worth city Council did,only takes on man.Many ways to save and make money,but you need a mind to think about them

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

The city is a mess.   Misguided and blind to the problems that have been brewing for many years.  Oh but as the city hall manta states:  "it's not happening here"-well it is and you should have seen it coming but you (the city staff and council) kept your eyes closed and minds on squandering tax dollars on suspension bridges and trying to keep that toll road alive (such a miss guided project).

Steve T
Steve T

I guess you meant "private sector", as they are already in the "public sector".

Ellum08
Ellum08

Removing the furlough days and getting a raise are two totally different things. No furlough days, which is being proposed for the civilian workforce, means that pay is restored to the level it was before the economy and budget tanked, roughly three years ago. No pay raise.

Police and fire will have no furlough days plus a 3% pay raise, because that was agreed upon, which was a pretty good move on their part.  

LaceyB
LaceyB

I forgot to add $15-18 million into my projected budget. And now, when I lose $15-18 million, I can just say, "oopsy daisy! Something we never 'expected'." Convenient, especially when that $ could go well in other places now.

Time for change
Time for change

I do not agree with Suhm that the City must give raises and remove the furlough days.  If any of those employees that were left with a job and benefits after all the layoffs wants to go elsewhere and work, I say let them go.  There are plenty of unemployed qualified people who've been without a decent job who would be more than happy to get those jobs. 

The Credible Hulk
The Credible Hulk

"It's not happening here" could be the motto of the city of Dallas.

Progress? "It's not happening here!"

Myioma
Myioma

Yeah, Suhm is so full of shit, it stinks all the way on the East Coast...........

Guest
Guest

It can cost more to hire and train a new employee than it costs to give the current one a raise.

Worker
Worker

Give me a break! It's attitudes like that that are keeping people unemployed. Of course, it should start with businesses loosening up the piles of cash that they are making and actually HIRE people to relieve their over-worked employees. That being said, we keep asking these government workers to provide the same level of service with fewer resources and pretty big sacrifices.

Get people more money to spend and more jobs will be created. Making record profits on the backs of your most loyal (or scared) workers won't do anything to revive this economy.

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