Goodyear Preliminary 2011-12 Budget

The city manager presented a preliminary budget for Goodyear at the council April 11 meeting.  It is important to know that most of this is only the General Fund operating part of the budget or about $54 mil in spend.  There are capital and other what I have called “below the line” expenditures in a city budget that I have not seen any details on.

The good news is that we may have lost the election but Goodyear has been listening to us on this part of the budget. They don’t appear to be spending any one time money (yet, see below) and new capital spending is down to $6mil from $25 mil last year.

The bad news is there is a 5 year plan to spend about $100 mil on administration offices for police, fire, public works, the city center, and a library.

A library?  We don’t need another library and by the time it was built we’ll all have Kindles anyway.  Campbell and Gelzer are library supporters.  Anyone been to the multi million dollar empty building called a library at the entrance to the White Tanks Regional Park on Olive Rd?  I didn’t think so.

Most of the revenue increases Goodyear is relying on in this budget are from expected increases in state shared revenue which may or may not happen given the state’s situation. The money is not even in hand yet and council is already talking about how much better things are and they even asked the three council candidates what would they spend if “funds became available”?

Shouldn’t we start paying down some of our $300 mil in city debt or lower business taxes before we start thinking of that kind of stuff?

Here are details, I give them a C minus so far but that is better than the F I’ve given them on previous budgets.  Small encouragement.


  1. 2010-11 actual sales tax revenues are estimated at $1 mil more than budget
  2. 2010-11 actual expenditures are estimated at $0.7 mil less than budget
    So the city has about $1.7 mil more to spend for the balance of the year than they thought.
  3. 2011-12 Revenues are expected to be $4 mil more than 2010-11.
  4. $3.2 mil of the additional revenues are from expected higher state shared revenues.
  5. 2011-12 Expenditures are increased $3 mil from 2010-11.
  6. $1.2 mil of the increase is from “other expenditures” which are increases in health care, Sonoran fire, radio costs, and fleet services. (details given).
  7. The balance of $2.8 mil is $1.0 mil in additional personnel cost, $350 increase in contract services, and $350 in commodities. (no details)

What is good about it;

  1. Capital spending is down to $6 mil from $25 mil last year.  We may have lost the election, but I think we got our point across.

What is bad about it;

  1. Goodyear plans to spend every penny of additional money they hope to get. I don’t see anything about paying down some of the $300 mil in debt that the city has today.
  2. Why are personnel costs up by $1 mil when the health care increase is in the “other” category and as proposed the slides claim no salary increases?
  3. The spending increases rely on state shared revenue going up and I do not think that is a settled issue yet with the state so far in the read.
  4. Why is fleet services up by another $220?  Didn’t we just buy a bunch of new vehicles?
  5. While 2011-12 capital spending is better, there is about $100 mil of 5 year plan spending considered for a library, city center and administration buildings for the police, fire and public works.  Can we all spell KINDLE and stop talking about another library?

What taxpayers should be wary of;

  1. Where is the $1.7 mil in 2010-11 savings going?
  2. Why is there a lengthy discussion in the slides about how much should be in the rainy day fund?
  3. Where is Goodyear spending $1 mil on more on personnel if there is still a pay freeze?


I give this budget a C minus.  We have come a long way in two years. However, one can already see the temptation for our council members to spend more now that they see revenues going up.

Taxpayers should watch to see what is added to this preliminary budget before it is finalized to find out who owes who for election support.

Here is a link to the budget presentation.  2011-12 Budget Prelim


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