This Saturday, September 18, 8:30 AM at the township building, there will be a public Board of Supervisors financial workshop. The agenda includes:
- 2010 Review
- 2010 year-to-date revenue/expense review and end-of-year projection – Tim Klarich, Finance Director
- Budget Advisory Working Group implementation update – Mimi Gleason, Township Manager
- Five-Year Capital Plan (2011 – 2015) – Mimi Gleason, Township Manager
- Public input about priorities for 2011 budget
We know from the TESD finance committee that the school board is planning a public meeting to discuss an EIT in October. How does the township intend to address what could be a looming 2011 financial deficit in the township budget? Hold the line on a tax increase because it’s election year? Or, as the supervisors did last year, will the decision be to continue to cut jobs and services.
Is it possible that the same supervisors who cut the fire funding in the 2010 budget will restore the fire funding in the 2011 budget? Can the township function with further cuts? Is it possible that the band-aid solutions of 2010 will continue to work in 2011? Perhaps the new finance director will offer some creative approaches to cost reduction. At least one of the newly elected supervisors ran on the platform not to raise taxes . . . the 2011 budget will be her first to review. I look forward to her budget analysis and recommendations.
Devon resident Bill Bellew offered the following letter to the supervisors that appears in this week’s Main Line Suburban newspaper:
Message for Tredyffrin board
To the Editor:
The following letter was delivered to the Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
On Sept. 18 you are conducting an open meeting for financial planning as you put together the 2011 budget for Tredyffrin Township. I do not envy you the task at hand as more potential cuts appear to be coming.
The stepping-off point for 2011 is the removal from the Sewer Budget of anything to do with streetlights and signage. Before I go another word: this has a tax-increase impact, and some politicians do not like to say they raise taxes. Well, for a number of years this has worked and we who pay into the sewer fund have borne the brunt of “no tax increases.” Once you get the streetlights/signage line item out for all to see, then you can do real budget preparation.
I have paid into the sewer fund each year since it was first established. The fee hardly ever changed since the ’80s until recently because it was well planned up front. That changed “x” number of years ago, about the time the board decided to put streetlights and signage in the sewer-fund budget. It has gone up and down a few times this decade.
The change in the sewer budget is needed for two reasons: first, lights and street signs have absolutely nothing to do with sewers; and second, only those hooked up to the sewers are paying for lights and signs for every household in the township. For sure, everyone north of the turnpike is not hooked up and that is not of the residents’ doing but rather the BOS.
Our sewer fund stipulates that any dollars collected for the fund can’t be transferred to another budget item. The fund is meant to provide the reserves necessary to keep the sewer infrastructure strong year after year. This year’s Board of Supervisors needs to make a resolution to return the fund to its original state of sewer-related items only.
Start with this, and then deal with the consequences of a tax increase. Try this on: return the sewer fees to the original amount and offset it with a tax increase if necessary. You did the opposite last year, so why not make it right this year?
William F. Bellew, Devon