The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

There's A New Budget In Town

So sometime over the weekend, Mayor Hardberger, City Manager Rolando Bono, and Councilmen (yes, they were all men) Kevin Wolff and Richard Perez all sat down and came up with some slight revisions to the 2006 budget:

A "possible budget scenario" created over the weekend by Mayor Phil Hardberger, City Manager Rolando Bono and Councilmen Kevin Wolff and Richard Perez outlines $6.45 million in cuts to the proposed 2006 spending plan to accommodate new spending requests.

A fair amount of the savings comes from cutting $1.67 million for a city employee early retirement incentive program, a little more than $1 million for a library inventory tracking system and $2.5 million to annex the Summerglen subdivision in northern Bexar County.

In exchange, the proposal, which is outlined in a memo from the mayor's office, includes adding $2 million to fund the Project Quest job training program, $1.7 million to give a one-time pay increase of 1.5 percent for city staff earning less than $50,000 per year, an increase of $236,000 for homeless projects and $400,000 to fund the San Antonio Symphony.

"It's an interesting proposal that I plan on reviewing over the next couple days," said Councilman Chip Haass, adding that the plan seemed to take into account proposals by most council members over the past two months.

The 1.5 percent pay increase for city staff would be in addition to the 3 percent cost of living adjustment in Bono's proposed budget, Perez said. Several council members have pushed for a 5.11 percent increase for civilian employees. The City Council is expected to adopt the $1.72 billion budget Thursday.

Not that much of a change when you consider the budget is $1.72 billion, but it does take care of Project Quest's request for (much) more money, and gives lower to middle-class city employees a slight pay raise. Of course the good thing, at least where I'm sitting from, is that they seemed to have cut a dollar for every extra dollar they attempted to allocate. Good practice. We'll see how these revisions stand up to the entire council this week.

Finally, has anyone else noticed the immense amount of coverage Kevin Wolff's been receiving since he took office? I don't think the four other members of his council class have received this much combined. Can a mayoral bid in 2009 be out of the question? Of course he'd become, what, the third consecutive District 9 councilman to run for mayor? And the two prior to him haven't had any success whatsoever, but then again, their dad wasn't former Dem. state rep, state senator, city councilman, mayor, and current County Judge Nelson Wolff, so we'll just have to wait and see.