Saturday, May 10, 2008

City Budget: A "living, breathing document?"

In: Pay for learning worth tweaking, The News-Leader's "Our Voice" column supports reimbursing city employees for college credits. I was interested to read this section:

"City Human Resources Director Sheila Maerz speaks with passion about the program, saying, "Developing a person is far better than developing job skills." She said employees in the past have trained outside their job requirements and gone on to bigger, more important roles within city government.

Maerz said in years past the program has often gone over budget, so the cuts proposed will be more dramatic than they appear. For instance, she said the program spent $194,000 in the last year for which she had figures."*

Question: If city departments are allowed to go over budget anyway, then why bother having a budget and why bother going to all the trouble of having the City Council approve it?

It appears it's just a piece of paper and departments can go over budget on programs anyway.

"The cuts proposed will be more dramatic than they appear."

Give me a break.

*emphasis mine


tom said...

Should the city (READ TAXPAYER) also reimburse people for taking college classes so they can become better citizen neighbors as well. I'm sorry but as a PRIVATE SECTOR employee/employer I shouldn't be held responsible to pay for anyones education except for my kids and my own families. It is bad enough that many people apply for and receive government loans for their higher lackluster education, I'll be damned if I'm going to be held accountable for taxpayer funded employees to take more of what I earn to pay for something they can afford to pay for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Having worked in healthcare for a number of years, tuition reimbursement has become a standard benefit. HOWEVER, the courses MUST be applicable to the employees CURRENT job classification. I believe the federal government also requires the tuition or monies spent on workshops, etc., be applicable to your current field of employment in order for it to be considered tax deductible. The city is very generous with our taxes.

tom said...

You're right they are so much so that a $350,000 tricycle park is going to be build with our tax revenue.

The city is SO generous with tax dollars that we the citizenry continue to pay not only our STANDARD taxation but voter approved MORE taxation to feed the BEAST known as local government. I wonder have you ever stopped to wonder why a city that has 152,000 people spends in general revenue over 72 MILLION dollars to keep the city operating. Keep in mind this DOES NOT include the airport, city utilities, the bus service, the street lamps, the ballpark, or a host of thousands of other items which are paid for via other entities.
When the city provides ONLY those items which are essential to government function our tax rate will drop and business will locate here because taxes will be at a rate which makes it beneficial for them to do so, without government funneling them money through the tax system.

However I'm assuming that with you working in health care that you do so in the private sector such as Cox or St. Johns, and as such my nor anyone else's tax dollars are being used to promote your education.

In the government sector tuition reimbursement should NOT be a standard benefit since it is NOT the governments(read taxpayer) responsibility to provide for your education or for your continuing education. The reason the cost of education is through the roof is because government has become SO entangled in the process that the rates need to compensate for the mandates that government places on these institutions. Of course these institutions could just say "NO". A foreign concept in this day and age of entitlements

Anonymous said...

Again, this might be a good place for the City to post/ list those who have used the most funds in the past,

They certainly should post the names of upper level grad degrees the public has paid for since the program started, and see if these people are still around.

However, this program it is a drop in the bucket for what they do at the truly stupid upper levels of Spfd. Govt. They are the ones who cost the City millions and millions.

These people however, take special training in public arrogance..

Chestnut Expressway

tom said...

Then it appears that we agree on more than we disagree on. I would point out that it is the highly educated that make these decisions, so I hope it isn't my money paying for this furthering education.