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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jun. 10, 2009 8 years ago

First budget meeting scheduled

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Longboat Key residents and Public Interest Committee members Lenny Landau and Phillip Younger met with Finance Director Tom Kelley Monday, June 8, to present a 2009-10 budget study, which they believe has the potential for $920,000 in budget reductions.

But in an e-mail from Landau sent to the Town Commission Tuesday, June 9, Landau states that the finance director only found somewhere between $26,000 and $62,000 that might be considered acceptable savings in its budget study.

States Landau in the e-mail: “Tom’s (Kelley’s) approach was all or nothing regarding our suggestions, i.e., either accept exactly what we suggested or totally disregard it, a position which we feel is less than practical because many of the items we covered appear quite capable of being reduced either to what we suggest or to some level of compromise between the proposed budget and our suggestions, and which could still yield considerable savings.”

Landau also says in his e-mail that the proposed budget has been “strongly influenced by prior budgets, rather than by actual expenditures, which is not a normal accepted practice in today’s world and which tends to lead to over budgeting.”

Landau said his budget suggestions are based on actual expenditures over the last three fiscal years.

Said Town Manager Bruce St. Denis: “We don’t build the budget based on last year’s budget.”

The preliminary budget, St. Denis said, is always based on actuals from the previous completed fiscal year while using expenditures to date in the current year’s budget.

“But we also do a comparison of the current year’s budget and the proposed budget to show the commission what we plan to do differently this year, which leads to that misconception,” St. Denis said.

St. Denis said the proposed budget is more than $100,000 less compared to the actuals from two years ago in the fiscal year 2007-08 budget and more than 4.5% less than what was budgeted last year.

The Longboat Key Town Commission will hold its first budget workshop of the summer at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.

Landau and Younger would like to talk to the commission about their study at that workshop.

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