Citizens For A Better Norwood

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bessie's COW report for October

Like last month‘s meeting, the financial recovery plan was the only agenda item. Mr. Moore has been putting it together, and it sounded like he's finished working on it if last week’s $3.5 million check from Jeff Anderson can be used to pay off what the city owes the fire and police pension fund. He said the recovery plan is being done to make the Auditor of State happy, and a big part of the plan is paying off the pension fund. According to him, doing this will take the city out of fiscal watch and then “we have a different perspective…there’s 5-6 years of pent-up needs.”

So what did the mayor say to this? Even if the feds say the $3.5 million can be used for general operating expenses and isn‘t restricted for community development uses only, the mayor “believes we should continue to reduce our operating costs…continue the same mentality of not overlooking every cost savings” because, otherwise, we’ll be right back where we are in 3 years. He hopes to bring the pension fund current through 12/06, and then his goal is to put $1 million away if there aren’t any restrictions.

Although Mr. Moore said he agreed with the mayor, he believes that instead of a financial recovery plan, the approach needs to change to considering plans for things like street maintenance and health care costs 5-6 years out. He stressed the need for long term planning and is hoping the proposed budget analyst will put together a comprehensive 5-year plan for every department.

So what did Mr. Schneider say to this? Well, he believes we still need a recovery plan and hates the notion of losing all of it. And he asked a lot of questions about the status of certain items like an energy audit by Duke, the fiscal committee the mayor was going to form and now isn't, the C-9 Trust, direct deposit for payroll, etc. He’s basically on the same page as the mayor - keep cutting costs no matter what.

Now, for the sexy stuff. Mr. Mumper said the city has $700,000 in a special fund for emergencies. And here’s a terrific deal: Mr. Geers said a $1,500 check is going to Matrixx (I’m thinking Matrixx Marketing) that will save us $60,000 next year. And best of all, soon our water meter reader will have a 2-3 pound, hand held computer to do our meter readings! It’s all good.