2012-13 Capital Plan; GY Has No Bonding Ability for “Next Five Years” Yet $1.0 Million in “Studies”

Still think GY’s not broke?  What if your banker told you that you could probably not borrow any money for the “next five years” because you are “loaned up”?  That’s what GY Finance rep Terry Canada told GY city council as they reviewed next year’s GY capital budget.

But you probably won’t see a story about important information like that for taxpayers in the West Valley View, will you?

GY city council had their second budget workshop meeting of the budget season this past week. As I wrote previously, (employee benefits increases) in their first workshop meeting, GY council approved proposals for spending increases in next year’s budget of between $1.5 and $3.0 million in increased GY employee benefits including 3-5% salary bonuses for employees, paying for half of GY employee health care cost increases, and adding tuition reimbursements to GY employee benefits.

This past week GY council heard the proposed capital spending plan. Here is the powerpoint summary that was presented.  Over $33 million in new capital spending is proposed over the next 5 years, $4 million of it in the coming budget year. If that money were borrowed, it would increase Goodyear’s already daunting debt by another 10%.  But it can’t be borrowed for about the next five years according to GY’s Finance Dept rep at this meeting (details below). There is no ball park, city center, or new malls to show for this spending either, just streets, water, and parks, the ongoing costs that are required just to keep a city running.

Let’s Study Something

But the “keep it running” capital expenditures only make up about 75% of GY’s proposed $4 million capital spending plan.  There is over $1 million in “studies”. That’s right, studies.  I’ve asked for more details from GY city hall and new city manager Brian Dalke on what is the purpose and complete description of these “studies” and why would GY urgently need to spend that kind of money on “studies” right now.  I’ll let you know when and if they tell me why nearly broke GY, who is now only spending about $3.0 million on capital infrastructure and is “loaned up” for the next five years and can’t borrow any money, needs to spend over $1 million on “studies”. You can go to page 10 of the above power point link above for a summary of the studies I am describing.

I include below a list of the million dollars in “study” projects that your GY city council approved of last week.  What is more interesting about this is to go to this detail link for each project and check the page numbers that I show in the list below of each study project.  What will really amaze you, is the description, or should I say, LACK of description for spending this much of your tax dollars in the detail linkMost of these projects have NO DESCRIPTION whatsoever shown in the detail that was included in the council meeting agenda. Can you imagine that?  And did anyone on GY city council even notice or comment on the fact that there were no descriptions for nearly one million of study spending during the council meeting?  Not according to the council meeting minutes.  The meeting minutes state only that Wally wants to make sure maps are up to date in Pebblecreek, Joanne wants to replace plants, and Georgia wants a park looked into near Desert Edge HS.  You won’t find any questions about the lack of “study” descriptions in the council meeting video on the city web site either.

And did any of them bore in on Finance Department presenter Terry Canada’s revelation at approximately hour 1:01 of the meeting video that Goodyear probably has no ability for bonding money for the next five years? Nope.  Just so you know, that’s because Goodyear is “loaned up” and can’t borrow any more money.  Did any of them object or contradict Dalke in his summary that there should be no changes in the proposed CIP as a result of council’s comments?  Nope. Nothing changed.

  1. Impact Fee Study                                      $200,000  pg 24
  2. Transportation Master Plan                   $350,000  pg 26
  3. Parks Master Plan                                      $250,000  pg 23
  4. Enterprise Resource Planning                $153,000  pg 21
  5. Sarival Street Improvements Design   $258,000  pg 12

GY employees, are you getting this? 

Your city council and city management just agreed to spend up to 100% of what they propose to spend on new increases in benefits for you in “studies” for a town that is currently just treading water.  And your city council is more concerned about plants, map updates, and new parks than checking out what is involved in the studies that Brian Dalke wants to spend money on.

Don’t you think you should ask them some questions about that?


4 Responses

  1. SURPRISEd??? The real question is will the money actually be spent on “studies” of will entries be made to cook, ooops, I mean correct the books/funds… and Goodyear has been “bonded out” for quite a few years………..

    • I heard from a reliable source that the COG will be cutting 10% of the employees to reduce expenses. Any truth to this? Due to CFDs in south, primary impact rumored north of Yuma Road, Palm Valley, and PebbleCreek.

  2. The studies mentioned from the worksession are funded from impact fees, which are already in the bank from past development and replenished from current and future development. These funds can only be used for certain items per state statute. Or anything you want like Surprise, you just have to pay it back and layoff 20% of the City ten years later.

    • You got that right … Pay it back to the appropriate fund once the creative accounting is uncovered…. Citizens of Goodyear, I urge you to demand a forensic audit now.

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