ON THIS TAX PAYMENT DAY, MAYOR HERENTON'S BUDGET NEEDS TO GO ON A DIET
Now that the citizens of Memphis have reelected Mayor Herenton, here comes the cost of that reelection, new taxes to pay for jobs for his bloated government. Look at the figures and facts.
- In Fiscal Year FY) 2006 there were 5162 total actual employees.
- In FY 2008 he showed 6225 employees, an increase of 1063.
The City finally responded to my open records request for a detailed list of these employees and that list is on this website and on (www.memphiswatchdog.org ) . It shows 5728 employees. Take a look at the attached list of jobs and salaries.
In addition to the salary list, I have attached the union contract between the City of Memphis and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The benefits, over and above salaries, amount to about 45% of the salary and of course includes the huge unfunded healthcare retirement promises where the taxpayers are paying 70% of the premiums. Recently the City finally said that this unfunded liability amounts to $824 million dollars just for the City and not including the MLGW and the County.
Look on page 16 (holidays), page 17 (vacations), page 18 (sick leave) and page 20 (bonus days). This amounts to 14.4 weeks off per year or over ¼ of the year not working. What private company gives these kinds of benefits? This generosity at the expense of the taxpayers naturally requires more employees than would be required in a private business.
The City Council has the authority to tear this budget apart, carefully examine all the parts and put back together a leaner, meaner plan that cuts this fat to the bone. They should hire outside, independent people to do the job and not depend on information from the Administration.
The recent $700,000 efficiency study (see attached) states in several ways the foillowing.
The City's budget process does not result in a financial plan that aligns with long-term strategies and service expectations within the City. In contrast, the current budget methodology and development process is incremental in nature and does not tie budgetary allocations to service levels, outcome measures or program achievements.
In other words, they just take last years budget and add something to it and send it to the City Council and expect them to approve it, which is what the City Council has done in the past. Hopefully, the new City Council will be different as the current financial situation is insupportable.
Click here to see the union contract and benefits you are paying for
Click here to see the job descriptions and salaries of city employees