Those sentences are from the 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Richardson. I'm still trying to figure out where the city thought the money for those employee raises was going to come from. But even more, what raises are we even talking about?Total expenses for fiscal year 2011 increased by approximately $11,374,000 (8.96%) when compared to fiscal year 2010. This increase is predominately due to increases in salaries and employee benefits.Source: City of Richardson.
After the jump, following the money.
Last July, at the start of its annual budget retreat, the city council heard the city manager propose no compensation adjustment for employees in the 2011-2012 budget. Then, at the very end of the retreat, late-breaking news forecast that property valuations were going to come in higher than expected. Mayor Bob Townsend then indicated that he wanted city employees to get a raise. Sure enough, in the final budget proposal, there was a raise for city employees, bumping the budget for personal services up by $2.1 million.
Is that the raise that caused expenses, as reported in the 2011 CAFR, to increase by $11.3 million? Surely not, for two reasons. First, the $2.1 million increase budgeted is nowhere near the $11.3 million actual increase reported in the CAFR. But more important, the $2.1 million is for this year's budget, fiscal 2012. The $11.3 million increase is for last year's actuals, fiscal 2011. Apples and oranges.
So, was there a much bigger raise granted city employees in fiscal 2011 that led to the $11.3 million increase in salaries? If so, then why, last summer, did the city staff spend an hour selling the city council on the need to increase the fiscal 2012 budget $2.1 million for raises?
I'm sorry if you read this far, expecting me to explain the conundrum. I can't. I'm mystified about the root of those "increases in salaries and employee benefits" in fiscal year 2011.