CHALLENGE TO REDUCE budget and ad valorem tax increase

This email was sent to our commissioners, mayor and finance director and as such are a matter of public record:

After thinking it over and looking at my schedule, I’m not sure that I can devote any meaningful hours in the next few days to help LHP ‘uncover’ areas to cut costs. More importantly, I think the staff should be tasked with this since they have the most intimate knowledge of the budget:

I challenge you to request each department to re-examine costs so that ad valorem taxes are no greater than 9% increase over last year. I think that’s roughly a $368,961 budget reduction.

Every department head should be required to make some cut.

Here are some highlights previously mentioned publicly as well as additional info:

1. There are COLA and merit pay opportunities. I’m not sure if it all appears in one line or not, but Executive salaries increase typically 5%. Sorry- they shouldn’t be getting this size raise given the current economics for the rest of employees and city residents who are not getting these sizable pay increases in addition to already earning well-above average pay for some positions.

reference: this is median for all size cities- obviously duties for larger cities are not comparable to a small city like LHP. All our executives (except fire) are making more than $80K/yr. click here for regional salary information

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