City of DeKalb made the budget even harder to follow for 2021

Business Report by Christopher Hall

Let’s say you are looking at the Fire Pension Fund in the 2021 budget.


You can see the annual employer’s contribution is approaching $4.3 million.

Next, you decide to look at the Fire Department budget to get a feel for how much of the total FD budget is comprised of pension contributions.


The Fire budget shows only $3.5 million in employer contributions. What gives?

It’s now in the General Fund Support budget. They’ve done the same with the Police Department.


To recap: In 2020, the full amount of the police and fire pensions could be found in the departmental budgets. You could track the year-over-year contributions within those budgets and directly into the pension funds. In 2021, you have to take an extra step — and more importantly, you have to know about the step.

I’ll explain the rationale to you in the Facebook group in as much detail as you’d like, but here I want to stick with the bottom line. Between this and the nontransparent use of the Water Fund, there is hardly a department, division, or office budget you can look at and get an honest picture of what is going on.

Photo credit: Christopher Hall