Cameron Park CSD uses Firefighter salaries to fund new CSD staff hires
VICKY NEIBAUER, Cameron Park, June 20, 2012Monday night the Cameron Park CSD Board, with President Frentzen the lone "No" vote, agreed to move a budget to Wednesday's General Meeting for final approval. This budget includes a deficit of more than $110,000 to be funded by an expected surplus from this year's operations. The majority of this surplus, $315,303 of $326,186, is from the Fire Operations, mainly salary savings from unforeseen position vacancies and contractual services.
This budget is funded with property tax revenues assumed to be flat although El Dorado County has projected and has included a 1 percent decrease in their property tax revenue assumptions for the coming year. If our CSD experiences this 1 percent decline in property taxes, the deficit will grow to over $145,000. This deficit is built into the budget without even one day passing in the new Fiscal Year.
In the face of this deficit, the board majority approved two new full-time permanent positions with full benefits and other discretionary expenditures. The costs of these two full-time positions will be ongoing and will continue year to year without regard for changes in property tax revenues. In fact, these costs will likely increase based on longevity and perhaps cost of living increases should these be negotiated with labor representation.
Last night one board member suggested that last year the budget was passed with a similar "deficit" and that at least this year's deficit is less than the last and shows improvement. It is my understanding that last year's deficit may have been passed without full knowledge and explanation.
Whether there was a deficit last year is neither relevant nor support for last night's board actions.
This board, clearly and with well-debated deliberations, again with President Frentzen the lone No vote, agreed to start the new fiscal year with a budget deficit of more than $110,000 to be funded by a surplus that has yet to be realized and is only an estimate at that.
All in all, a classic picture of fiscal irresponsibility and poor leadership.
The Cameron Park community deserves better.