Monday, October 6, 2014

Bach issues proposed 2015 spending plan

Posted By on Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 4:13 PM

click to enlarge Here's one of the images from a hype sheet for Bach's budget proposal coming out of the city communications office.
  • Here's one of the images from a hype sheet for Bach's budget proposal coming out of the city communications office.
Mayor Steve Bach presented what could be his final annual budget today — a $259 million spending plan for 2015 that's about 5 percent more than this year.

Bach hasn't said whether he'll seek re-election. If he doesn't, he'll finish his term in June.

The budget proposal, which can be found here, will be outlined to City Council on Oct. 20 and 21. Council will have less than a month to adopt on first reading its appropriations ordinance and must submit a final ordinance to Bach by Nov. 27.

Highlights of the 2015 budget include the addition of 20 police officers and 11.5 parks employees, and a few others here and there, adding 38 workers to general fund operations. That would bring the total of general fund city workers to 1,708.

Bach plans to add another 15 employees to other funds, such as cemeteries and golf courses, bringing total city employment (excluding Colorado Springs Utilities) to 2,220, compared to 2,167 this year.

By far the biggest single department is police with $104 million compared with this year's $98.6 million.

As for the mayor himself, his administrative budget is proposed to go up a mere $28,323, to $646,000, with only five employees.

Likewise, City Council's budget, under Bach's proposal, would increase by $24,800, to $968,081. Although Councilors are paid $6,250 a year and have only five employees, their budget includes dues and membership to the tune of $356,300, which includes such things as Colorado Municipal League and other groups the city has traditionally supported through membership.

As a footnote, Bach made a big deal, in his remarks at a news briefing today, on the city's website and in a news release that he presented a "balanced 2015 budget" to Council.

That makes it sound like that's a big deal when in fact the City Charter mandates a balanced budget. There's no such thing as deficit spending for city of Colorado Springs government. Hence, there is no such thing as an unbalanced budget for the city.


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