Balance the Budget / Protect Reserves
It’s time for our Council to get serious and transparent about the future of PVE. The City’s reserves are being depleted to pay for expanding discretionary overhead. We were convinced to vote for Measure E to “Save Our Police” – but the parcel tax was not nearly enough to pay for police salaries or pensions. The realities of funding Measure E must be disclosed and understood. The City’s infrastructure is aging – and requires investment. Our existing Council set up multiple advisory committees – but avoids revealing and adopting their guidance. Pension debt is increasing faster than revenue – this is not sustainable.
Our first civic responsibility is fiscal stability. Our Council must take control of our finances by developing multi-year balanced budgets with five-year forecasts. Spending needs to be aligned with our residents’ priorities: safety, fiscal solvency, infrastructure and services. To accomplish this goal, every expense must be reviewed and validated for necessity (zero based budgeting). Our Council needs to protect our reserves and control spending.
My Solutions to protect financial solvency:
- Reduce existing pension debt
- Take active measures with the FAC and the Investment Advisory Committee
- Hire a pension expert to advise Council
- Create and manage a reserve fund to pay down deficits
- Cut costs to fund the pension reserve
- Lease GovInvest to assess and report current debt
- Stem pension debt growth
- Work with the FAC to address
- Use bonuses instead of pensionable increases
- Offer 457-deferred compensation plans (like 401k)
- Offer non-pensionable benefits like bonuses
- Review the CalPERs contract and seek opportunities to limit usage of CalPERs and/or redirect employee investments into something more profitable
- Create new pension tiers on par with the private sector
- Utilize professional services organizations
- Lease GovInvest to project pension debt before hiring and raises and compare to professional services cost.
- Use union negotiations to compare real cost of increasing a pensionable item.
- Embrace the utilization of FAC forecasting tools to manage the budget
- Validate gross receipts and enforces contractual obligations for timely financial reporting
- Evaluate each spending item must be evaluated for necessity every year (zero-based budgeting)
- Utilize suggestions from the community:
- Hold City Manager accountable to reduce costs
- Conduct recurring reviews of operational efficiencies to reduce costs and waste
- Retire low-valued tasks, services, memberships and subscriptions
- Evaluate, compare and standardize:
- Number of required direct reports for supervisors, managers, directors and others
- Staff-to-management ratio
- Conduct operational reviews and optimize operations for quality and cost effectiveness
- Plan and budget for infrastructure requirements
- Add pension management to the budget process