Cameron Park CSD Ignores Budget Cut Request but Hires New Employees
GERALD LILLPOP, Cameron Park, June 20, 2012The Cameron Park budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 as proposed by General Manager Cahill has a built-in deficit of $113,265. The way General Manager Cahill proposes to balance this deficit is to take the money that the fire department has managed to save in fiscal year 2011-2012 and apply it to the general budget for fiscal year 2012/2013. This, of course, leaves no reserves for the fire department for capital equipment procurement and or replacement of aging equipment.
The $113,265 is the hole in the budget if property tax revenues remain stable or flat and does not reflect any El Dorado County or Sacramento County revenue projections for Fiscal Year 2012-2013.
Director Greg Stanton pointed out that El Dorado County is projecting a loss of property tax revenues of 1 percent for fiscal year 2012-2013. This translates in an additional loss of revenues of $32,226 for the CSD taking the total deficit to $145,491. If the projections of up to a 3 percent loss in property tax revenues that Sacramento County is estimating happens then Cameron Park's deficit will explode to $209,984, not $113,265.
Knowing this, General Manager Cahill is insistent that she be allowed to hire three new full-time benefited positions. General Manager Cahill wants these new positions even though she has not done a study of the unfunded liability that the retirement benefits these new positions would add to Cameron Park's overall indebtedness and longterm capital outlays. General Manager Cahill has been instructed by the board to find cuts of 10 percent and a balanced budget and instead she has come back with her own agenda of hiring new full-time employees in direct defiance of the board’s and public’s recommendations.
General Manager Cahill wants a new recreation coordinator and a full-time front office person. My question has been, “Why do we need a full time recreation coordinator?” What will this person be coordinating in November, December, January and February, ice skating programs? I have suggested that we look to having a college intern fill this position seasonally. I asked that General Manager Cahill look into this and report back as to her finding. To date she has done neither to my knowledge. I’ve asked repeatedly “why we need to move on a full-time benefited front office person when there are solutions such as automated answering systems, staffing using interns, or even utilizing the Welfare to Work program.” I have gotten no real serious answer other than the front office person will do six to seven people’s jobs. I have stated that I want to meet the person who can fill all of the assigned tasks in the job description. Whoever it is they had better be named Clark Kent and bring their own tights and cape; they are going to need them.
The significance of the budget deficits in Cameron Park is the fact that Cameron Park is built out. Even if new construction of single family homes is up in El Dorado County, Cameron Park will not be able to share in that growth because there is no significant amount of vacant real estate available to develop. This means that the existing tax base is what the CSD has as its revenue base. If the board of directors allows these new hires, Cameron Park will have built-in deficits from now until the real estate market and home values turn around. Does anyone want to hold their breath until this happens? That’s why I am urging the board of directors to table any new full-time hires until such time as we have the funds to fully pay for all of the salary, benefits and retirement that these positions will impose on Cameron Park.