Key information on the Colorado Springs 2012 Budget has been posted at BachsOffice.com and is republished here for subscriber convenience.
City of Colorado Springs Charter, Article III outlines Council General Powers and Article IV outlines Mayor General Powers.
Find links on SpringsGov.com for sections of the 2012 Budget.
Mayor Bach’s Message on Colorado Springs Budget (October 5, 2011)
Mayor Steve Bach has released his proposed 2012 General Fund and All Funds budgets. The General Fund proposed budget totals $224,575,000, a 0.61 percent increase from the 2011 budget and a 0.31 percent increase from the current year-end projection. The slight increase is due primarily to the transfer of Support Services functions as well as stormwater maintenance and permit activities from other funds to the General Fund.
The 2012 General Fund budget reflects more than $3.7 million in savings across all departments as a result of staff meeting the Mayor’s challenge to examine all vacant positions and opportunities for efficiencies. Approximately 38 vacant positions are eliminated in the 2012 budget. In addition, the cost sharing formula to fund the employee medical plan is shifted from 86 percent employer/14 percent employee to 80/20, resulting in expected savings of an additional $1.4 million.
“One of my three main objectives as Mayor is to transform City government so that it works for everyone without increasing taxes,” said Mayor Bach. “To accomplish this, we must take a longer-term, more strategic view. Within this context, my proposed 2012 budget provides core City services at the current 2011 level. I am very appreciative of staff’s commitment in working with me to identify areas of savings.”
The Mayor plans to work with City Council in 2012 to engage the community in a process to develop a new Strategic Plan that will incorporate specific measurable outcomes. The Mayor also plans to develop a four-year plan to address the City’s long-term fiscal sustainability. Part of that plan includes the following strategies:
- Engaging an independent consultant to conduct a total compensation study to ensure a fiscally-responsible salary plan that also works to attract and retain high-performing employees;
- Working with the legislative delegation to propose and gain support for legislation enacting more sustainable pension funding practices; and
- Implementing an innovation and sustainability program to help the City become a stronger, healthier organization.
“The City uses three models to forecast sales and use tax revenue. Given the results of those models and the consensus that the recovery is faltering, we believe a conservative projection is the appropriate strategy,” said Mayor Bach. “The 2012 forecast used for this budget assumes sales and use tax revenue will be approximately one-half of a percent below the current 2011 end-of-year forecast, which is 2.06 percent above the 2011 budget.
“I am proposing to Council that the City’s position be reevaluated after the first quarter of 2012 when the final 2011 figures are available and the revenue trend can be assessed,” added Mayor Bach. “At that time, if the updated models suggest revenues will exceed the forecast upon which this budget is based, then additional services could be considered for funding. Until then, the forecast should remain conservative to avoid implementing additional services that may not have sufficient revenue to sustain them.”
The All Funds proposed budget, which includes the General Fund plus Enterprises, Special Revenue, Internal Services, and the Permanent Funds, totals $379,897,040. This includes an appropriation for expected grant funds of $57.0 million. Excluding grant funds, the 2012 All Funds proposed budget reflects a decrease from the 2011 budget of less than one percent.
The proposed 2012 budget is available for public review online at www.springsgov.com/Budget/2012Budget. Specific feedback can be emailed to email@example.com. Below is the budget calendar (subject to change – all sessions will be televised on SpringsTV, which is Comcast Channel 18, and streamed online on www.springsgov.com):
- October 18 1-5 p.m. City Council Budget Work Session
- October 19 9-noon City Council Budget Work Session
- October 20 9-noon City Council Budget Work Session (if needed)
- October 27 7-9 p.m. Formal Public Hearing and E-Town Hall on 2012 Budget
- November 3 9-noon City Council Budget Markup Session
- November 3 1-5 p.m. City Council Budget Markup Session (if needed)
- November 21 1 p.m. City Council informal review of final Appropriation Ordinances and 2012 Budget
- November 22 1 p.m. First reading of 2012 Appropriation Ordinance and Mill LevyCertification at Formal Council Meeting
- December 13 1 p.m. Second reading; 2012 City Budget officially adopted at Formal Council Meeting
- December 31 Deadline for appropriating budget (CRS 29-1-108 and City Charter 7-50)
Mayor Bach’s Message on Colorado Springs Budget (October 10, 2011)
This is to share with you my perspective on the Colorado Springs City 2012 General Fund budget revenue forecast. Here is a link to the detailed budget.
According to the City Charter passed with the Strong Mayor initiative, the Mayor is responsible for the General Fund annual budget, totaling about $225 million. City Council has the authority to change the Mayor’s budget, and then the Mayor has the right to line-item-veto any such changes. City Council can override the Mayor’s veto by a vote of at least six of the nine members.
(By the way, City Council controls Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) with annual expenditures of about $1.0 billion and Memorial Health System (MHS) with annual outlays of about $600 million. So, City Council has statutory authority over combined annual expenditures of about $1.6 billion. The Mayor has no right to veto any portion of the CSU or MHS budgets.)
The Mayor’s revenue forecast for the General Fund for 2012 is essentially flat, compared with the 2011 estimated actual revenues. This revenue forecast was recommended by the Finance and Budget Departments staff, who employ three nationally recognized economic forecasting models in arriving at their forecast. Contributing to this static revenue picture is the expected decline next year in property tax collections due to lower property values, and a slight reduction in sales and use tax receipts based on anticipated reduced consumer spending.
Given the uncertain economic conditions for 2012, we should be conservative in estimating revenue on which to base program expenditures. We don’t want to put the taxpayers in the position of having to pay for anything new when we are not sure the money will be coming in.
I’m suggesting to City Council that we revisit next year’s budget in April and determine whether conditions have changed. Some on City Council may want to increase the revenue forecast now to “create” additional money to spend. I have urged all Council members to instead join me in a cautious approach to next year.
Mayor Steve Bach