I came into office during one of the most difficult economic times in our country and our City’s history. The cuts in local aid were dramatic! If the amount of local aid we received beginning in 2009 remained unchanged through today, we would have an additional $20.3 million dollars in state revenue to fund our budgets. Unfortunately, that was not the case beginning in 2009 and we have had the difficult task of closing close to $3 million dollars per year. Our state aid today is just about where it was in 2004.
As it is, I have made government leaner and our FY2015 budget produced the first balanced City budget since my involvement with City government began in 2001. I am very pleased to say that our City Council recently adopted the first balanced City and School budget for FY2016. This is something this City has not seen for many years.
YEAR AFTER YEAR SINCE MY FIRST BUDGET IN FY2011, OUR BUDGET HAS GROWN LESS THAN 1.20% ANNUALLY.
Our external audit report indicates that we have made significant progress and we are moving in the right direction!
Additionally I have:
- Consolidated multiple municipal offices
- Held and often cut employee costs across all departments
- Negotiated lower health insurance costs
- Championed the receipt of $23 million dollars to ensure the City’s “Colegrove Park Elementary School” renovation best serves future generations and protects our City’s investment
- Notably kept spending within our budget
- Carefully been rebuilding our reserves for our City’s future
This all speaks to sound fiscal management. I am extremely proud of this level of due diligence and responsibility.