News from Patrick Flynn

Steady fiscal ground

In addition to the comments generated by my previous post I received several phone calls and e-mails, a few of which gently suggested that some additional information might lead me to a different conclusion on budgetary matters.  Since then I have reviewed some more detailed material and still have questions.

In a nutshell, there are some numbers with which we can have a reasonably high degree of confidence while others need more thorough consideration.  One example is vacancy factors, positions in the budget but not filled for some portion of the year, and how we expect those to materialize.  Details like this will be dealt with next month, once the administration formally presents its budget proposal.

Other correspondence, from those who work for the city and those who simply appreciate city services, offered additional concerns about the accuracy of numbers.  This creates a couple dilemmas:

  • Some municipal employee groups asked to participate in creative budget solutions appear to be hesitating.  We need to be as transparent as possible to encourage their involvement.
  • There appears to be a public perception that using an overly-conservative approach to revenue and expense forecasts will force cuts later deemed unnecessary.  While this has the positive effect of producing a budget surplus, those who value local services feel shortchanged.

As with many issues before the Assembly, we’ll have to get down in the weeds to develop determinative information (steady ground), then elevate to a broader perspective to craft a budget that reflects our community’s values.  Keep those comments coming…



This contribution was made on Wednesday, 09. September 2009 at 16:13 and was published under the category Fiscal matters. You can follow comments on this entry through the RSS-Feed.

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  1. But what of the widespread municipal corruption I touched upon in response to your last post? I’m not alleging these things, I’m stating them as demonstrable facts!

    Editor’s note: I researched the concerns Mr. Sorensen raised in the previous comment he references and responded to him with a personal e-mail. If you are interested in that information please let me know.

    Comment: Kurt Sorensen – 12. September 2009 @ 10:41 pm

  2. I agree that there is much to be discussed and resolved. I do feel that the city is being shortchanged and the public, the many of you whom post to this blog as well as the rest of Anchorage and you friends and family need to attend the next Assembly Public Hearing on Tuesday SEPTEMBER 29th! Come and express to your assembly members your take on these budget cuts and why public service is important to your quality of life. Remember that we do get paid to live here, that we do not have a sales tax and that we are rated in the top ten taxable cities to live in – and for what, so we can save a buck and the city services can get pillaged by our own Mayor?

    Comment: Concerned Citizen – 23. September 2009 @ 10:28 am

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