April 12, 2010

City may use its savings to pay this year's bills, finance director cautions

The city is tapping its savings accounts to pay its bills.

That's the analogy Finance Director Dave Brown used Monday night to describe the city's financial situation. He told the City Council's Finance Committee that it looks like the city will spend the $2.2 million it took out of its reserve fund to balance its 2010 budget.

While the city uses its reserves - essentially a savings account - every year to balance its budget, it typically pays itself back with money that was budgeted, but not spent during the year.

That may not happen in 2010, Brown said. He told the Finance Committee it looks like the city will spend all of the $2.2 million it took out of reserves this year.

Brown's message was a caution to committee members about spending money left unspent in the 2010 budget. Not only could the city use that money to replenish its fund balance, he said, it's likely the city will need its savings to make it through the coming years, as well.

Brown said tapping the fund balance hurts the city in a number of ways. It reduce the amount of money available for cash flow, cuts down on how much money the city can earn interest on through investments, and could increase the cost of borrowing money through a lower bond rating.

Like a personal budget, Brown said there are two solutions to dwindling savings: make more money or spend less.


  1. Thanks for making this information available Dave! I asked the Mayor a few times this year if there was even one single job we could cut in this years budget. Mayor Dickert assured me that not a single job could be done without. Last week I watched as he recorded all of the money he's "Hoovered" up from Washington and Madison by demonstrating just how poor, pathetic and feeble our city is! The Pres opened his checkbook and sent us some "Obama Money" from his "Stash". Mayor D proceeds to expounds on the rich and diverse and full of art, etc. Racine is, when telling the people of our community about ourselves. M. Mayor goes thru this litany of special interest groups and all the special programs he has collected money for..and yet after all of that EVERY single program and personnel is ESSENTIAL? Now we have to use the savings account? How about we shed a few jobs Mr. Mayor. maybe a few Temps can fill some of the holes? We can save some money on the Pensions and beni's that those City employees collect. Temp's are cheaper. Better yet let's get the exacto Knife on the budget and let's provide ESSENTIAL SERVICES..and let the free market forces address the rest of the issues. Mr. Mayor I Know Detroit; I don't want Racine to become the next one! WE can build a great city with lower taxes and less Govt. try it and see and you will be the Best Mayor of Racine ever... (In fact if you want you can pretend it was your 10 year plan :^). I won't tell.

  2. The Translator4/12/2010 10:56 PM

    So basicly, Dickert has put Racine in a 2.2 million dollar hole. Was that part of the 10 year plan John?

  3. Just get rid of jobs, that will solve everything!
    We can hire a bunch of Paul Blart mall cops to protect and serve the city. Then maybe you can get some firemen on the level of the ones in the movie Roxanne to save you from raging flames. Maybe you can luck out and even get some awesome records clerks to keep track of your real estate tax records so when you get a notice that you haven't paid on time you can pony up the late fees and interest.
    But, hey in the long run you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you had a lot to do with eliminating those annoying full time employees.....

  4. No Kay instead let us raise taxes and fees even more, if you can't afford to live here move out, but please keep paying your property taxes because there no one moving in.
    What is the plan when State aid is cut even more (because Doyle bankrupted Wisconsin)how do we pay the bills?

  5. Kay EVERY single Police employee must be a uniformed cop? Or could some of those jobs be filled by a clerk or clerical, secretarial person? I'm not suggesting we go to a volunteer Fire Dept. But most communities across the country have voluntary FD's. The cost is much lower than ours. Racine City has cut some FF'rs. and we have no difference in tragic losses of life. Then let's look at every single City staff person MUST be a city employee? Parks worker Must be a City employee? How many groundskeepers at the local factories and business work for the business? Do they have full benefit pkgs. and lavish taxpayer funded pensions? No only in Govt. This group is the ONLY group to not yet face the economic realities of their jobs and the costs to the municipalities where they work, in the 21st century. The AFSCME Union still has a death grip on the Dems..and we are paying the bill. It must stop soon.
    Kay ,If you like the higher taxes, move into Racine and dump your purse out, so we can hire another trash can emptier for city hall with a full pension, 10 days vacation 10 days of sick time, Family leave, union membership, and full health insurance. This job could easily be preformed at minimum wage, (in the current market), by a high school kid or kid in college, and replaced every few years with another. Kay is willing to keep overpaying and forcing more people to remian unemployed and underutilized but as long as we in Racine the City are over taxed Kay doesn't care, as long as one more person has a AFCSME card.

  6. How does Kay think we should pay for all of this? What might her plan be to stop the exodus of Jobs and Homeowners? Armored Guards?

  7. West Racine Seceede!

  8. Downtown --- Not every police employee is a uniformed officer. There are many civilian employees in the Racine police department. Not every City staffer is an "employee." Remember when people were up in arms because the IS department became staffed with contractors? Remember when the contract public infomration officer was hired?

    You are right that AFCSME has far too much power, however.

  9. Tell Dickert to hire a few more people. The way I see it is the city would be $200K less in the hole if it wasn't for Dickert's family & friends hiring program.

  10. Unlike the failure in Washington, the Racine failure can be resolved quickly.
    1. New Mayor
    2. New council
    3. New vision
    4. Keep the finance guy, he seems to be the only honest one in 730 Washington Ave. (City Hall for those that don't know the address)

    Leadership is about making hard decisions. Going along like Dickert and the old guard are doing only delays hard decisions. The longer you wait the more painful the decisions.

    The County made some hard decisions in the past 5 years but the operation still functions. The city appears to failing with smiling John riding the ship to the bottom of Lake Michigan.

  11. Party on idiot orbs.

  12. That's just pathetic. If you're going to flame people on the net, at least learn how to do it properly.

  13. It would be really nice to have a grocery store and restaurant paying property taxes in West Racine to help plug some of that hole.

  14. Too bad the only proposal before us is for a convenience store and a gas station.

  15. I don't care if it's for a shoe shine store & a tow truck company! If it creates jobs and provides tax base, this city should do EVERYTHING to get this going. Racine is a JOKE! The sooner you people get rid of these clowns running this pathetic little city, the better off we all will be!

  16. $2 MILLION---Thats the cost of the unwanted recycle carts !!

  17. I want a Mercury recycling plant next to Park High School. Its all about tax base oh and rip up Island Park too just think of the low income homes we could have !

  18. I think there already is a mercury dump in West Racine, just ask the city.

  19. Racine elects Dickert the mayor, and for the first time in anyone's memory the city is going to run a deficit. Coincidence? I do not think so. Dickert probably traded the 2 million for a bag of magic beans.

    No development! No jobs! No money! Vote Dickert!

  20. Dickert is a failure to his own party! Give it up John, you can't hack the job.

  21. The Taxpayer4/13/2010 11:01 PM

    Friedel = $100K + Benefits
    Bach = $45K + Benefits
    Ike the PIO = $25K + Free Bananas
    Future No Bid to Mr. Crimmings
    Current contracts w/ Doug Nicholson
    God Knows What Else He Gave Away!

    Dear John,
    Thanks for the hard work.
    You are a true putz!

    The Taxpayer

  22. 15% Voter Turnout - Disgrace and you have a right to complain4/14/2010 1:23 AM


    Did you vote? Better yet did you run for public office - Didn't think so. You probably showed up at the polls today. The election was last week - didn't see too many new City Council people elected. So it people like you that can sit behind your keyboard and spout off how bad things are but changes will never happen without new Council Members elected

  23. I think I'll run for office - "smart guy runs for office without any financial backers and $237 to spend on his campaign" will be my unofficial slogan. I will be taking countless hours away from my attempts to keep food on the table while government folk figure out new ways to take it. Intellectuals like 1:23 will be first in line to laugh me out of the room with my $237 campaign.

  24. The fools running Racine need to go.
    First we need to find good folks to run for office, then educate the voters about why they need to vote.
    We also IMHO need to start doing nonviolent civil disobedience.

    From "having our recycle carts "stolen" to "die ins" at City Hall to show the death of jobs in Racine
    producing shows for CAR 25 lots of things we can do but we need action not words

  25. Do any of you posters realize how insignificant your rediculous comments are? You represent a vocal minority who by most standards do not have a clue about anything that is happening in the real world. With the exception of a very few, most of you hide behind your computer screen making stupid comments that have no relevance or impact on decisions that determine the course Racine, Wisconsin or the U.S. take. whatsoever.

  26. 8:14

    But we have so much fun pissing you/The Mayor/RCEDC/RAMAC/Good old boys, off.

    and if we did not have some impact you would not have posted.

  27. Not PO'd just think some of you would have better more useful things to do, but I must be wrong:)

  28. I wonder how much of the missing $2 million went to paying off Dickert's pal Monte Osterman's creditors and moving his business downtown after he was evicted?

  29. $2 million in the hole in a year. The ten year plan must be for $20 milion dollars debt in ten years.