savingsIn my posting the other day, “Saving grace,” I talked about the $17M allocated and reserved in Glendale’s Fiscal Year 2013-14 Budget for Arena’s lease management agreement. I suggested that saving that $17M would be prudent by placing it in the city’s Unappropriated Contingency Fund. It should not be spent at this time. Then should there be a lease management agreement the first year’s funding would be available or if not used in that manner, it would fatten the city’s bottom line, an attractive strategy for lowering interest rates on the city’s bond indebtedness.

Well, apparently everyone – from city staff to the council – is already placing dibs on that money as evidenced by the March 19, 2013 City Council workshop.  Ms. Sherrybargaining 3 Schurhammer, Executive Director of Finance, offered many ways to spend it. Some of the expenditures include:

  1. Paying for the special, outside audit mandated by the new council.
  2. Paying for the consultant (read Beacon Sports and its special ties to the Reinsdorfs) to write and manage the RFP for the arena.
  3. Miscellaneous city department overages or unexpected expenses.
  4. Repaying loans made from the water and sewer funds.
  5. Paying for fund transfers to and from the Risk Management Trust Fund and the Workers’ Compensation Trust Fund.

Add to that staff wish list Mayor Weiers’ recent comment about raising employees’ salaries. Also add Councilmember Chavira’s plaintive call for a Special Council Workshop to consider the issue of Public Safety employees’ compensation and Councilmember Alvarez’ desire to restore or increase funding for youth and the poor.

If everyone’s desires are fulfilled, you can say good-bye to that $17M at the end of budget workshop discussions. Then where will the funding come from if (are you listening, God?) there ever is a successful contract for the arena and its management.

tax increaseI also heard the first tentative feelers being thrown out there publicly about Glendale’s property tax rates and the fact that revenues from that source continue to drop. Don’t be surprised if there is discussion (and possibly) adoption of higher property tax rates in Glendale.