Where Did $35 Million Dollars Go?

What if your check book had a balance of $55 million dollars in 2008 and for the next four years you “lived within your means”, made cuts in spending, and made certain you did not spend more than you took in.  And what if  the next time you looked at your check book balance four years later in 2012, you only had $20 million dollars remaining?  Wouldn’t you wonder where the $35 million dollars went?

Over a week ago I sent the following email to GY City Manager Brian Dalke. Of course he has not found time in his busy, $180,000 per year schedule to reply to me and apparently none of the local papers have found the time or inclination to look into this issue either.

From: howardsgoodyearblog <howardsgoodyearblog@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 9:02 AM
Subject: Where Did $35 Million Dollars Go?
To: brian.dalke@goodyearaz.gov
Cc: john.yantis@arizonarepublic.com, rtrott@westvalleyview.com, Jim Painter <editor@westvalleyview.com>

You and GY city council regularly tell residents that you have reduced spending and conservatively managed Goodyear through the recession that has plagued GY and the rest of the country since 2008.

If that is true, then what has happened to the $55 million dollars that were in the Goodyear General Fund Beginning Balance at the start of 2008 and which in your latest budget will have shrunk to just over $20 million?   If Goodyear actually did manage appropriately and within its means during that time period, then can you please explain to me and the rest of GY’s taxpayers where the $35 million dollars have gone? (That’s the difference between the $55 million that was there in 2008 and the $20 million that is there now).

I’m not speaking of any capital expenditures, (unless Goodyear has been paying for capital expenditures out of the General Fund).  I am asking about the change in the annual beginning balance of Goodyear’s operating fund, the General Fund from 2008 until now.

If Goodyear has managed appropriately, then where did all the money go?  $35 million dollars is a lot of money.

For reference, I have attached a summary GY Operating Analysis 08-13  which comes directly from Goodyear’s own budget books. I encourage you to check all my figures with your financial department for accuracy.  These figures are the basis for my questions.

It appears to me that instead of appropriately reducing costs to balance revenue reductions, instead, since 2008, Goodyear has over spent by anywhere from $6.3 million to over $13 million each year.  And the only reason it isn’t worse than this, is because Goodyear has raised utility revenues by nearly $9 million dollars during the same period and used the utility revenues to pay for other General Fund operating expenses.

If you continue to keep this up, what happens when the $20 million is gone?

Howard Brodbeck
Concerned Goodyear Citizen
Owner, howardsgoodyearblog


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