Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Parking -- West Chester style

An article in the Daily Local News of November 25, 2008 notes that West Chester intends to lease parking spaces in its newly-planned garage to companies that wish to reserve the spaces.

According to the DLN, West Chester Borough Manager McNeely states that the cost per space will be $20K-$27K and that a lessee will need to commit to paying off that cost over the term of the construction bonds, 20-30 years. The contribution to operating costs is extra.

At a 4% interest rate and a 20-year term, the basic monthly payment per space would be $121.20--163.61 (principal and interest, like your mortgage).

The Phoenixville Parking Authority (you remember them, don't you) needs to evaluate how many Phoenixville businesses are willing and able to make that commitment to solve the downtown parking 'crisis.'

Monday, November 17, 2008

Ze budget ...ze budget

The Borough now has the proposed 2009 budget on its website.

Unfortunately, the 'official' version, while it includes the 2008 data, does not show any comparisons.

An annotated set of the budget financial data (with comparisons to 2008) appears here. Several sheets of analyses appear here. There is also an analysis of the proposed staffing increases here.

Doing another line of Krack

Borough Manager E. Jean Krack's "Budget Address" to the Council concludes with the following sentence:

"I ask that Council consider a financial committee or sub-committee of three council persons willing to meet with Mr. Nease and me once a month to provide Council with an accurate update and ability to adjust to any significant trends."

What has prevented the Manager and the Finance Director from providing "accurate updates" at the monthly meetings of the Council's existing Finance Committee?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Law of Averages

According to the 2009 Proposed Phoenixville Borough Budget, the average borough personnel costs (salary plus benefits) per full-time-equivalent employee are:

All General Fund Departments $87,859

Executive Department $77,781

Finance Department $67,900

Public Works Department $92,182

Police Department $101,897

Codes Department $60,127

Crossing Guards $95,198

Streets Department $81,266

Recreation Department $49,952.98

Water Treatment Department $85,369

Water Distribution Department $75,675

Waste Water Treatment Department $89,272

Friday, November 14, 2008

2009 Budget Continued

Comments on the recreation budget and some more about the general fund are linked here.

I have heard that some members of the staff and of the council have expressed concern that I have been able to comment on the budget – a ‘privilege’ not afforded the general public.

My response: I have not commented on any material that was not publicly discussed at the November 3, 2008 council meeting. I addressed my letter to the council members, not the general public. I did not make the letter publicly available until I heard of the above-noted ‘concerns.’ Lastly, public comment on the affairs of government is not a privilege, it is a right. Any public official, elected or appointed, who cannot respect that right needs to leave his public position immediately.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

From PASD-world, home of the 'voluntary resignation'

The separation agreement for former PASD Superintendant Dr. Schwab appears here.

Anyone who believes that it takes two teams of lawyers and nine pages of text to accomplish a 'voluntary resignation' should be required to repeat the third grade.

And now, for something completely budgetary

The recent proposed 2009 budget presented by Borough staff on November 3rd calls for a $50K increase in the salaries and wages line in the executive department -- an increase of about 30%.

A link to my letter to Council regarding the budget, along with a set of budget documents, can be found here. (With apologies for the several typos.)