Dwindling reserves - Letters to the Editor - MiamiHerald.com
Village rsident Eric Tullberg raises an excellent point on reserves today, Thursday, 9/20/2012, in the main opinion section of the Miami Herald:
Palmetto Bay officials decided at a Sept. 10 budget meeting to add an additional police officer beyond the one requested by Commander Greg Truitt. The funds for that recurring expense of $150,000 a year were to come from our $9 million reserve fund.
But to balance the budget $990,500 was transferred from the unreserved fund balance. So with the addition of another officer, $1,140,500 will be taken out of reserves to balance the budget.
It may be necessary to use reserves when times are tough, but it is not responsible to use reserves to expand services that will continue into future years.
Eric Tullberg, Palmetto Bay
Unfortunately Eric, it is not just $150,000.00 or even $990,500.00, this year. It is over $3 million as identified in my post below. Eric's point is well founded on the recurring expenses. Recurring expenses must be covered by recurring revenues, otherwise you spend your reserves down to dangerous levels in a very short time. Many of the other projected $3 Million reserve spend down are not for recurring expeditures, but for one-time or periodic maintenance costs (too many to list, but) such as tables, umbrellas, coolers and scheduled repairs to the Coral Reef tennis courts, costs that used to be covered by a contracted vendor, the JFTA; or other items such as the much needed batting cages or a parks bridge repair, but still, $3 million in just one year?