Budget Workshop Open Thread #2

Well, shoot, the commenters precede the blogger’s efforts here! Kay Shelton’s comments, appearing in the previous article summarize the proceedings in much the same way I would, so I shall copy part of them on the flip. Thanks, Kay! The main idea is that the most basic services, police and fire protection, are being provided in responsible, innovative, cost-conscious ways, especially the P.D. In fact, I am inclined to suggest that if every department in the City of DeKalb were as concientious in responding to the current budget crisis as the P.D. is, our straits would be less dire for sure.

So here is a portion of Kay’s comments; be sure to click on the link above for its entirety:

Well, for the things that really count, police and fire (and ambulance), it looks like the professionals are doing what they need to do. For overtime on police and fire, those costs were explained at the meeting. For fire, they have overtime for events (such as an NIU football game) or when too many people have to go out on call. But, they get reimbursed through a contract with NIU. That answers the question out in the community if NIU pays for those services. To reduce fire overtime, it looks like in the long term, they might be better off with hiring a couple more people.

For police, they often get overtime for getting hired to run security at Village Commons Bookstore and other places. I know police help out at VCB at certain times when there are large amounts of money passing hands and a busy parking lot because I see them there; I just didn’t know they get paid to be there. They get overtime but they get reimbursed.

The police usually rotate out four cars for replacement but they requested just one car.

What happens, is the overtime for both fire and police comes back in to the General Fund so it looks like horrible overtime but they are actually getting reimbursed–it just is not going to show up in the same area of the budget as getting paid back.

The clerk’s office and the lawyer’s office both look efficient, although something did not look right with the amount for the health insurance on the clerk’s office but that will get checked.

What looks wacky to me are all the consultants that get hired and there is a proposed $100,000 line item on the Council / Mayor budget to cover the creation of a logo, branding, and some sort of financial planner. This recommendation came about because of some community committee (or was it the Chamber??) but I did not quite catch which group. There seemed to be some talk about not approving that, some talk about having a logo design contest rather than paying some consultant, finding out how much it would really cost before approving it, and/or some combination of all of the above.