PTC Council briefed on budget proposal

Tue, 06/05/2007 - 7:00pm
By: John Munford

The Peachtree City Council got a detailed lowdown of the proposed $36.43 million budget for the 2007-2008 fiscal year at a workshop meeting Tuesday night.

Council was briefed on $1.4 million in cuts that were removed from the budget before the first draft. Many of those cuts came in the form of reductions in staffing levels sought by the city’s department directors and chiefs.

For example, the police department asked for eight police officers, one sergeant, two detectives, a lieutenant and a staff assistant. But only one police officer position was authorized by the city manager for the first draft of the budget.

The fire department asked for three sergeant/paramedics, three firefighter/paramedics and several other positions, but none of those were included in the recommended budget.

The budget proposal from staff includes a .25 mill property tax increase which equates to $20 for a home valued at $200,000.

The city will also be dipping into its cash reserves by more than $600,000 to balance the budget.

City Finance Director Paul Salvatore noted that the projected increase in the property tax digest for both new structures and the increases from reassessments on existing structures is estimated to be about $400,000 but that would not cover the increases in personnel for this year.

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Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 06/06/2007 - 7:11am.

harold you might as well raise our taxes more than 20 bucks per home.
You already have broke every promise you made. Everyone hates you. You have proven that you couldn't balance a personal checkbook if we hired a CPA to do it for you. I certainly hope our city isn't paying for a "short bus" to carry you to work everyday.

The city manager only approved the money for one cop and no firefighters at all. When are we going to be rid of this skidrow drunk bum?? When is this city going to have the safety and EMS personel to reach even basic national standards again?

riverdale is jealous of how quickly we have fallen into the abyss.

Bravo! Instead of bringing riverdale to us why don't you 2 drunks do us all a big favor and move to the ghetto if you like it sooooo much.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Wed, 06/06/2007 - 4:53am.

Now let me see what you said: The city of PTC first asked for many, many more police and firemen (most at mid grade pay) but then decided to "cut" the budget by not hiring them since they haven't even hired the authorized amount from last year!
Is that correct?
All these cuts amounted to an increase? Plus the use of $500,000 dollars of reserves (from where) and the collection of more taxes from property re-evaluations.
Is that correct?
Yet, all that would not cover the costs of personnel increases.
Is that correct?
Why can't we just say what it was over the last few years, each, and what it will be next year? What is this "reserve" business, a budgeted item? Try to clear it up a bit, they sure won't.

Dalton Russell's picture
Submitted by Dalton Russell on Tue, 06/05/2007 - 7:18pm.

Yes, the mayor may have run on a platform of "No New Taxes" but we see where that has gotten us so far. A .25 mill increase with a grand total cost of $20.00 for a $200,000.00 home is not that noticeable. In my opinion $20.00 means not renting a couple of movies, video games, or getting that manicure. It, however, doesn't mean that it should be approached as a lynching offense which some citizens will take it as. A full .50 mill increase would actually do a lot to bring the budget back to where it should be. Then again this is my own humble opinion.

The problem that we're currently facing is that the surrounding cities have the same cost of living, if not less, and we're not keeping up with our methods of paying for the luxuries we've come to expect. We want the cake without getting our apron dirty to make it.

As for dipping into the coffers to cover the necessities: It's a sign that some things should be assessed...and then reassessed. 39% of the budget is for Public Safety. Well, in light of two shootings last year, how many cars broken into, stolen golf carts, burglaries, thefts, and armed robberies what should we focus on? More air conditioned restrooms? That is what seems to be important here? Perhaps we should try to make an indoor ice hockey rink at Kedron Field House. Another set of ball fields? Let's build another golf cart bridge that goes unused for close to a year. It appears that there's more interest in the luxuries than the necessities.

The losses of people at the police department are abominable. How short staffed are they now? Revenues are down and crime is up. The recreation department doesn't seem to have those problems.

We should take a look around and see how other municipalities in the metro-Atlanta area are doing. I'm sure we'll find that they're a little higher up there than we are. We're seeing an influx of criminal activity that's a direct correlation to our current vulnerability because we're more focused on those things we want more than those things that we need.

If one were to refer to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs they would find that safety and security are lower on the rungs of that ladder than petty pleasures. 39% is still a fraction more than what is spent on Recreation and Culture if you are to split the 39% down the middle between Police and Fire/EMS.

As for a new building supervisor: How many buildings is this one person responsible for? How many people going in and out of every day? I think apartment complexes have more people on staff for less important things. And if someone is considering outsourcing it then they should reconsider this. Some of these buildings house classified documents, personnel files, accounting documents, cash money, millions of dollars of equipment, drugs, and weapons. I don't think this should be considered lightly and hastily.

Let's examine this:
$20.00 per year more on a house valued at $200,000.00
$0.00 for no increase and get deeper into the pit we've already dug ourselves over the past few years.

We need to step up to the plate and realize that this is the moment when we can say "Wow, it wasn't that bad. I'm glad we did it" or to look back a few years from now and try to figure out how to get ourselves out of a situation that's reprehensible. We've already cut the cost of living increases from the city employees and they're leaving like rats from a sinking ship (i.e. the police department). How many more people will begin to be courted for higher paying positions, or ones with more stable pay and benefits, elsewhere when the city refuses to pay them and wants to raise their medical costs?

How many of you out there reading this right now would be completely opposed to paying $20.00 instead of paying for a better quality of living?

    $20.00 will buy you this:
    Dinner for one at Outback
    Three movie rentals and a bag of popcorn
    Two CDs
    One DVD
    Two tickets to the cinema

    Can you afford that?

    It's not even a pair of shoes, jeans, shorts, or an iPod, PS3, Xbox 360, or anything else that we deem as a "must have". And this $20.00 will be for a year, not just for a night or two.

    I leave it there for you to decide.

    The true horror of this world is not the criminal minds that pursue vile intent. It's the apathetic view by those who stand idly by and point fingers without the will and courage to act.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Wed, 06/06/2007 - 5:01am.


Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Wed, 06/06/2007 - 5:00am.

A retired person living on his social security and a small company pension, drawing about $20,000 a year from those, but managed to owe nothing and own a $200,000 home, must pay about $2000.00 per year of house taxes out of that 20,000. A princely sum!
Also same is true for the low rung workers, who generally pay it in rent, however.
I'm sure your attitude will be: then move to a tent.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Tue, 06/05/2007 - 9:39pm.

Learn how to close the bold. Go down below where you input your comment and view the difference between opening the bold and closing the bold. Smiling


"That man was Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard".


yellowjax1212's picture
Submitted by yellowjax1212 on Tue, 06/05/2007 - 9:23pm.

I know how budgets are drawn up. I've done them before for different companies. Department managers ask for more than they expect, hoping to get half of what they need but man-o-man, the police ask for 13 bodies and get one. The fire department had three on thier wish list and nothing.
If it's not going to protect the citizens, where is going?
Face it folks, we have some great Police and Fire personnel but they are not too highly regarded by other departments because they are shorthanded and underpaid.
Apparently the new houses and businesses moving in aren't footing the bills for our growing community so I guess it's going to come out of our pockets. Unfortunately we may find ourselves giving up some of the frills of PTC so we can fund the necessities of Public Safety.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Wed, 06/06/2007 - 5:25am.

I don't see income from fines on the busget. Why do they hide it?
Or does some other group get it then return it?

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