CBS News Sixty Minutes: State Budgets: Day of Reckoning
December 19, 2010 4:59 PM
Steve Kroft reports on the precarious financial conditions many states are facing and what they're doing about it. Length 13:50
In the City of Hallandale Beach, it just never ends...
Agenda for Wednesday morning's Hallandale Beach City Commission meeting is at: http://www.hallandalebeachfl.gov/files/2011-01-05%20Regular/Agenda%20Outline%20for%202011-01-05%2010-00.htm
Below, my good friend and Hallandale Beach civic activist Csaba Kulin gets some things off his mind -and hopefully into yours- about the city's budget problems, which in the opinion of many well-informed people in this community are directly attributable to the benefits paid by city taxpayers to city employees, many of whom, in my opinion, fail to deliver a dollar's worth of service for a dollar's worth of salary.
There's an entire forest of deadwood in this city that needs to be clear-cut.
The Sixty Minutes video above is referenced in his email to the powers-that-be at Hallandale Beach City Hall.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Csaba Kulin
Date: Tue, Jan 4, 2011 at 3:24 PM
Subject: Ten (10% wage increase for HB employees
It is no different tomorrow when you will vote on a total on 10 % wage increase to the Local 2009, Florida Public Employees Council #79 members. The 10% is made up of 3% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) effective July 8, 2010, 3% COLA effective October 1, 2010 and 4% ratification bonus. This contract will expire September 30, 2011.
I do not blame the union for trying to get the best deal for their members and the City Manager (CM) was not in a very strong bargaining position. First, he has to work with the effected employees, second, the City Manager just got a 10% salary increase himself. Why would the union agree anything less than 10%. Remember when I argued for a "symbolic" pay freeze of the CM, you did not listen to me. The CM could have taken the "high road" during negotiations and argue that "I did not get a pay increase either". You have contract negotiations coming up for the fire and police unions. What makes you think they will take anything less than Local 2009 got?
A few weeks ago "60 Minutes" had a segment on it, the Wall Street Journal had two articles (December 23 and 24) about it and the Mayor's last article in the South Florida Sun Times talked about public employee compensation, benefits and pension benefits and the need to control it. Bloated salaries and "gold plated" benefit packages are bankrupting local governments. According to some experts, State, County and City financial difficulties will dwarf the housing crisis in magnitude. Everyone talks about it but nobody is willing to do anything about. We all know it is coming but no one has the backbone to say "STOP". Every journey starts with the first step. You missed the last opportunity to say "NO" when you hired the CM, will you miss this opportunity to say "NO again"?
The Federal Government froze wages for two years, Social Security recipients did not get a COLA for the second year in row and everyplace you look private employers introduce new "compensation plans" which is pseudonym for cut in pay. Is there any reason the City could not freeze wages for a couple of years?
The COLA's and the 2.5 salary reduction re-reinstatement in the Budget Amendments added a little over 1 million to the 2010/2011 Budget.
- How much this new contract will cost the City in the 2010/2011 Budget?
- Is this 10% on top of the COLA already approved in the Budget Amendments?
- With the original Budget Amendments and this latest one, how much is the deficit in the General Fund Budget?
- Where is the extra money is coming from?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: Day of Reckoning
Governor Christie speaks on accountability at a Town Hall meeting in Perth Amboy, N.J., June 15, 2010