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Fuzzy Math At City Hall

| March 06, 2010, 09:13 AM | 0 Comments

What Are The True Numbers?

Over the course of 44 days, the news from Annapolis City Hall has indicated that there is budget deficit. However, they can’t seem to figure it out exactly.

Since January 21, 2010, the current year deficit began at $2.6 million, ballooned up to $3.1 million (19%) and has now settled back down to $2.6 million.  The coming year is more dramatic. It started at $6.4 million, went up to $9 million (40%), and is now back at $8 million.

21-Jan-10 1-Mar-10 5-Mar-10
2009-2010 $ 2.6 $ 3.1 $ 2.6
2010-2011 $ 6.4 $ 9.0 $ 8.0
Total $ 9.0 $ 12.1 $ 10.6

Where are these numbers coming from? Consider that City Hall told us in November 2009 that the financed were in fine shape despite the Mayoral candidates’ assertion otherwise.  When elected, Mayor Cohen realized the gravity and the December numbers were released. The numbers were worse on March 1 when Cohen addressed the public, and again on March 5, they changed when his office issued a press release on the layoffs. Is the Finance Department playing with the numbers?

We were told that the current year budget was a moving target and that the storms had an impact on it. That is to be expected, but weren’t we also told that the excessive cost was to be reimbursed by the State because of the declaration of the State of Emergency?

Current budgets can fluctuate, and certainly proposed budgets are fluid, but when in the course of 45 days a budget is revised by 40%, there is a problem. Perhaps it is time to to bite the bullet and have an independent auditor come in and examine the City’s finances from top to bottom.  This is serious and should not be handled by an “Idea Team” or an employee who likely is concerned about his position.

21-Jan-10 1-Mar-10 5-Mar-10
2009-2010 $ 2.6 $ 3.1 $ 2.6
2010-2011 $ 6.5 $ 9.0 $ 8.0
Total $ 9.1 $ 12.1 $ 10.6
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