May 16, 2011 – Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and the City’s Administration and Finance Division released their proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget recommendations today totaling $544,884,572. This budget represents a 2.1% increase from the Fiscal Year 2011 Adopted budget and a 0.7% decrease from the FY11 Projected budget.
Mayor Sarno has warned that the FY12 budget will be the most challenging to date. With property values and State Aid continuing to decline and fixed costs on the rise, a gap of $49.4 million needed to be resolved. All Departments were asked for reduction proposals and hearings were held to understand requested amounts. Ultimately, costs savings, revenue maximization and cuts to programs and services were required to balance the budget.
Based on the recommendations from the Mayor, 48.5 vacant positions were de-funded and 33.5 layoffs of dedicated staff are needed. In addition 330 non-bargaining staff, including the Mayor, again, had their pay frozen. They are also taking 12 furlough days during FY12. Additionally, reductions to other budgetary costs such as training, travel, professional development and professional services are recommended. Along with spending reductions, the $75 trash fee was maintained and reserve funds were used to balance this budget.
The Mayor highlights that even with the budget challenges to date, many core services have been preserved that are critical to our neighborhoods, businesses and community. Highlights include:
- Funding for 490 Police Officers and Supervisors including 100% funding for the Quinn Bill benefit at $3.7 million.
- Funding for roughly 15,000 deterrent crime deployments by the Police Department.
- Funding the recruit class that the Police Department recently brought on in FY11.
- Funding the recruit class that the Fire Department recently brought on in FY11.
- Funding the School Department including meeting all State mandated funding requirements.
- Keeping our neighborhood libraries open but at reduced hours.
- Continuing to support the community and celebrate diversity. Events include, but are not limited to Bright Nights, Fabulous February, Stone Soul Festival, The Caribbean Festival and the Hoop City Jazz Festival.
- Supporting the Parks Department in coordinating and implementing educational after-school and summer programs, including the opening of pools and spray parks, special events, concerts, therapeutic recreational programs for adults and children. The division also serves as the central program information center for all sports activities and seasonal youth programs in the City.
- Providing 34,847 customers with curbside pickup and disposal of approximately 42,000 tons of solid waste, single-stream recycling, bulk pickup, and yard waste removal.
- Enabling continuous, 24 hour, year round, safe response and retrieval of dangerous and problematic animals in our neighborhoods and Adoption Services anticipated relocation of an estimated 900 animals to partnering facilities this year.
Mayor Sarno is pleased to sustain the core services that the City offers. A formal presentation to the City Council is scheduled for Monday, May 16, 2011, at 4:45 p.m. The City Council will then conduct their own hearings to review the detail of the recommendations. Fiscal Year 2012 begins on July 1st.