Don’t Believe Everything You Hear and Only Half of What You See

The subject line of this discussion is something my mother used to say to me when I was a kid.
It was true then and it is even more true today when it comes to politics.

The incumbents running for re-election in Goodyear would have you believe that they have managed your city in a fiscally responsible way.
I am not going to tell you that the incumbents have been fiscally irresponsible by telling you what I think.

I am not going to tell you who I think you should vote for.

Instead, I’m just going to show you the data (below), presented in table form, which is directly from the last 4 years’ City of Goodyear Budget Documents and let you decide for yourself. (or, if you still can’t bring yourself to believe me, here is a link directly to the budget document on Goodyear’s web site where the data came from, look it up yourself

In Goodyear;

General Fund Revenues are down by 31% since 2008.
General Fund Spending has increased in the same period.
The number of authorized positions in the City of Goodyear rose from 560 to 592 in that same period until the Citizen’s Budget Committee (CBC) forced them to cut them last year.
Debt Service Expense has more than doubled and is now equal to nearly 50% of the entire General Fund spend.
The “Contingency”  budget was increased 400% in 2011. (What is that about?)
Spending as a % of the budget has increased from 87% in 2008 to 98% last year..

What does this mean?
It means that until 2008 Goodyear was passing fat budgets that were far in excess of what they needed to spend.
Therefore, when they said they cut the budget, it did not really mean that they cut spending so much.
When last year came and the CBC was looking over their shoulder, they finally sharpened their pencils and passed a $70.8 mil General Fund budget to look good to you, but then they raised their “contingency” budget from $16.9 mil to $78 mil year over year a 400% increase.

Finally, they delayed a few capital projects and voila!  They’ve told you they are being fiscally conservative, but really they are not.
Incumbent council members have allowed this to happen.

Take a look at the table below, then ask your favorite incumbent candidate to explain it all to you.
Then decide who to vote for.

City of Goodyear Budget vs Spending Comparison Table                                                                                                                               (if you cannot read the entire table including 2011 Est click here City of Goodyear Budget vs Spending Comparison Table to view it as a word document)

Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 Est
General Fund Revenues $82.5 $64.1 $60.7 $56.7
General Fund Operating Departments Expenditures $69.6 $72.1 $71.7 $70.8[1]
General Fund Budget (part of total) $80 $84 $73 $70.8
Spending as a % of Operating Budget 87% 85% 98% ?
Total Budget[2] $497 $405 $375 $255
Capital Budget (part of total) $359 $271 $247 $59
Capital as a % of Total Budget 72% 67% 66% 23%
Debt Service (part of total) $11 $19 $22 $24
Contingency (part of total) $20 $20 $16.9 $78
Contingency as % of Op Budget 25% 24% 23% 110%
Authorized Positions 560 568 592 514[3]

[1] This figure is budgetary because the year is not complete and Gyear has only published through Q4 2009-10.

[2] Some of these are estimates since year to year reporting is not always consistent by category.

[3] Reduction occurred as a result of Citizens Budget Committee recommendation.


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