Weatherford Democrat

Top News

September 12, 2013

Council comes to budget terms

City’s FY 2014 spending, revenue plan in place

By BRIAN SMITH

After several weeks of discussion and consideration of the Fiscal Year 2014 budget, Weatherford city council members have made their final changes before the $25.26 million General Fund budget is adopted at the Sept. 24 meeting.

Former police department employee Tim Galbreath was the only person to speak during a public hearing Tuesday night on the budget, asking the council to reconsider adjusting cost-of-living increases for retirees from 70 percent of the rate of inflation to 50 percent. For example, if inflation is running at 3 percent, the COLA to retirees would drop to 1.5 percent from 2.1 percent under the proposal.

Council member Jeff Robinson said adjusting the rate of return to retirees still keeps the city in the market of what other cities offer their retirees.

“We’re not cutting retiree benefits by any means,” Robinson said. “We’re simply slowing the increases.”

Galbreath said several times in recent years the council has balanced the budget on the backs of its retirees.

“Retirees expect what was promised to us,” Galbreath said. “Making cuts like these makes current employees wonder if they should stay or what kind of benefits they’re going to get if they stay with the city.”

Galbreath said he stayed with the city because of the retiree benefits he was promised, turning down other “better” offers. Director of Management and Budget Chad Janicek said benefits to retirees aren’t being cut under the proposal, just slowed.

The council considered either slowing the rate of benefits for retirees or not giving current employees a 2 percent cost of living increase, among other tough decisions. City Manager Jerry Blaisdell said the city is still trying to recover from cuts made during the economic downturn of 2008.

“We can’t get where we’re trying to get to without either raising taxes or cutting the workforce,” Blaisdell said. “We’re still chasing the street budget we had in 2008. We’re still chasing the money for nine employees that were cut in 2008.”

Text Only
Top News
Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Poll

The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

Yes
No
Undecided
Don't care
     View Results