Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY -

Lind­say said it’s time to set pri­or­i­ties and share the sac­ri­fice re­quired to meet a new $5.4 mil­lion an­nual pay­ment to the town’s em­ployee re­tire­ment fund. The coun­cil has com­mit­ted to mak­ing the pay­ment through 2032, the year it hopes to have fully erased a longterm mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar short­fall in the pen­sion pro­gram.

The three-mem­ber coun­cil ma­jor­ity said it fa­vors re­view­ing ex­penses with an eye to­ward cut­ting next fis­cal year’s bud­get, but did not want to leave the meet­ing with­out an ap­proved bud­get in hand for this fis­cal year.

Brad­ford and depart­ment heads be­gin work­ing each spring to as­sem­ble a bud­get pro­posal that comes to the coun­cil in July. The coun­cil may spend one or more meet­ings study­ing the plan and call­ing for re­vi­sions be­fore ap­prov­ing the bud­get and tax rate at two pub­lic hear­ings in Septem­ber.

Next time around, Brad­ford said, the coun­cil must get in­volved ear­lier in the process so it can un­der­stand how gov­ern­ment bud­get­ing and ac­count­ing works.

But first staff will do the ground­work. Brad­ford said Tues­day he will present to the coun­cil in Novem­ber a writ­ten out­line of how staff will ac­com­plish the re­view and a time­line for com­ple­tion.

“The goal is to pro­vide an ar­ray of op­tions to sub­stan­tially re­duce the cost of the town gov­ern­ment,” he said. “Staff will com­plete a com­pre­hen­sive re­view of op­er­a­tions and es­ti­mate the im­pact of each al­ter­na­tive . ... How do we achieve what we cur­rently achieve, but with less re­sources?”

The re­view will take into ac­count ser­vices to res­i­dents, and pos­si­ble in­creases in fees for ser­vices and penal­ties, he said.

The last com­pre­hen­sive bud­get re­view, in 2007, took four months to com­plete. Brad­ford said he hopes to get it done in three months this time and put it be­fore the coun­cil for study in late Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary.

Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Richard Kleid com­pared the re­view to zero-based bud­get­ing, in which man­agers are asked to build a bud­get from the ground up. “It’s in­volved,” he said.

The last com­pre­hen­sive bud­get re­view, in 2007, took four months to


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.