The Morning Report
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Last week when he unveiled his budget proposals, Mayor Jerry Sanders said his own budget was decreasing by 7.3 percent.
The difficulty in evaluating Sanders’ statement is that he’s in charge of two departments and percentages change depending on how you define their budgets. And he’s cutting one of those departments, but not another, which includes his position (and salary).
Let’s tackle Sanders’ big budget first. That’s the Community and Legislative Services department, which includes his communications team and chief of staff. It currently has a $4.4 million budget (excluding pension and other retirement costs).
The mayor eliminated 2.5 positions from that department, saving $323,652. That comes out to the 7.3 percent the mayor mentioned. It’s important to note that in October City Council and all city departments were asked to reduce the parts of their budgets that didn’t include retirement costs.
But if you do include retirement costs, the Community and Legislative Services department has a $5.9 million budget. Next year, the mayor’s budget proposal calls for the department to have a $5.8 million budget, a decrease of 1.2 percent.
The mayor controls the budget for the three-person Office of the Mayor and COO, which is made up of Sanders, Chief Operating Officer Jay Goldstone and Goldstone’s secretary. This year, the department’s overall budget is $642,234.
Goldstone said last month that this department offered up cuts, but told me today that it didn’t make any.
“We did last year; we did not as part of this budget,” Goldstone said.
This department’s budget increases in the mayor’s proposal by 2.9 percent to $660,772, a rise Goldstone attributed to a bump in retirement expenditures that every department saw.
— LIAM DILLON