STATEMENT ON BUDGET FROM MAYOR ZIMMER
“I am extremely gratified that the City Council came together and finally introduced a budget amendment last night. As a result, we will be in a position to adopt both the amendment and the final 2013 budget at a special hearing that was scheduled for next Wednesday, June 26th.
The amended Budget retains the flat tax levy included in the Budget introduced by the Administration in March. However, it defers certain expenses and investments in order to offset the decision by some Council Members to include retirement benefits in full in this year's budget. The introduced budget anticipated that these $950,000 of costs, which are not current operating expenses attributable to this year, but costs that built up over the lifetime of the employees' service, would be financed over five years as permitted by State law.
Some of the added retirement costs were offset by a reduction in anticipated legal fees due to the City's recent string of successes in resolving lawsuits favorably to the City's interests. The deferred items include the purchase of a high water vehicle which would help in the event of another major storm, city-wide pedestrian safety initiatives, and other items.
I strongly preferred the more balanced approach taken by Budget Chair Giattino that would have permitted us to move forward with these important matters this year, but I am pleased that it appears that a final budget will be adopted next week.”