Counting the Numbers
Florissant City Council got its first glimpse of what the budget numbers look like for fiscal year 2011.
Although Florissant City Council had a full regular meeting agenda, its executive session revealed some insight into the current fiscal standing of the city, which isn’t great.
For a major part of the public executive session, the council discussed the standing of the current fiscal year budget and the overtime payments of employees with Director of Finance Randal McDaniel.
He revealed that all employees had been paid for any needed overtime, but some departments had begun to use compensatory time.
Council asked McDaniel about the standing of overtime budgets, and he broke it down by three departments:
- The Parks and Recreation Department has $2,000 left in its overtime budget.
- The police department is over in its overtime budget, and McDaniel said it’s possibly twice its adopted budget of $125,000. He estimates that the department will have spent $250,000 by the end of the year.
- The public works department has also exceeded its budget by $18,000-$20,000.
Director of Public Works Lou Jearls stepped into explain the situation with the department. He said that for the past two snowstorms, workers were given compensatory time instead of overtime.
Jearls said that three summer positions had not been filled to help in the overspending, but the department remained in a bind due to several employees wanting to use their compensatory time.
Ward 7 Councilwoman Karen McKay said she was frustrated with the revealed numbers, especially in looking at upcoming numbers for budgets.
“A lot of cities having problems, but they’re staying in the guidelines of their budget,” she said. “We’re not doing that.”
McKay said that with the continuing requests for appropriations of funds that she’s concerned with the budget picture for Florissant for the next three years.
Jearls pointed out to the council that his proposal for $90,000 in overtime had been cut in half by the council, which was part of the problem with the overage.
“We are in lean years,” Councilwoman McKay said following Jearls' words. “It’s a tough time, but we can’t keep appropriating money that’s not coming in. This city has to start being responsible for dollars coming in.”
The council and Jearls ran out of time to further discuss the budgetary concerns, but it didn’t take long for the topic to be resurrected.
Bill 8745 would have allocated funds from different accounts to benefit the public works salaries and overtime.
Ward 1 City Councilman Tim Lee said that he still had a number of questions as well as needed to understand more about overtime before passing the bill.
He motioned to table the bill until another work session date could be scheduled to discuss it further, and it passed the council.