Updated: 8:28 a.m. Wednesday, April 11, 2012 | Posted: 9:16 p.m. Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Eric Smith, city manager of Englewood, said his community has changed its employment practices.
“We’re treading water. We’re relying more on part-time people instead of full-time people, he said. “We saw it coming. But a lot of the smaller communities, I don’t know how they do it.
“We have budgeted a 32-percent reduction in local government fund revenue in fiscal 2012 and are projecting an additional 17 percent in 2013. The estate tax revenue is difficult to measure because it varies. From 2002-2011, it averaged $300,782.62, ranging from a low of $84,491.34 to $557,614.80.”
City manager of Trotwood Mike Lucking said his organization already is lean.
“All of our employees have taken a 10-percent reduction in pay,” he said. “We’re going to make some mid-year adjustments. We also have no capital spending going on.”
Riverside City Manager Bryan Chodkowski said his community has been in reduction mode the past five years.
The city will lose a combined $320,000 from the Local Government Fund and the estate tax through fiscal year 2013, and then at least $320,000 annually after that.
The city has saved between $400,000 to $500,000 through the attrition of five police officers. It delayed hiring a full-time fire chief for two years and an assistant city manager for a year and most likely will promote from within to replace finance director Bob Gillian, who retired last month.
“We have weathered the storm better than most,” Chodkowski said. “The $320,000 is a loss to us and it means something, but it’s not a significant something because we’ve focused on our core services and focused on core governmental responsibilities rather than expanding into areas that otherwise might have caused us to feel the hurt.”
City Manager Deborah McDonnell said Fairborn projects to lose $325,000 this year from the Local Government Fund, then $650,000 through at least 2016. Another $75,000 is expected to be lost in 2013 with the repeal of the estate tax, and that figure increases to $150,000 from 2014-16.
McDonnell said the city has reduced its budget by more than $2 million since 2009, but she doesn’t anticipate any more cuts at this point.
Among the cuts: laying off firefighters and police officers, as well as community development, accounting and engineering staff.
“We anticipated this happening three years ago,” McDonnell said. “We really came together as a team to talk about how we are operating, and what the exact services are that we need to provide and what can be eliminated.
“It’s really forcing us to look hard at our operation and what it’s costing us.”
Centerville projects a loss of $1.5 million to $2 million a year as a result of local government fund cuts and the coming end of estate taxes.
Although it has not raised taxes in 31 years, it doesn’t plan to do so now. Besides continued conservative budgeting, the city’s main strategy is to seek new sources of future revenue with economic growth initiatives and conservative budgeting.
Expenditures are oriented toward capital projects that may be delayed or postponed if the economy worsens. The city continues to “streamline” positions and has reduced funding to a number of civic groups, the historical society and Hithergreen Senior Center.
City Manager Jon Crusey said the city had a few positions in the police department that haven’t been filed.
“It’s not directly related to (the cuts), but it is somewhat, he said. “We actually received more from the state this year than we thought, but we’re supposed to get a 25-percent reduction this year and 25 percent next year.”