Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Budget Message From the Mayor

April 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Anticipated expenditures exceed anticipated revenues. That is a simple description of the 2011 economic conditions in cities and states across the country. It is as true of Berkley’s budget in 2011 as it was in 2002 when property tax revenues had decreased by $317,000 and the Michigan Legislature reduced Berkley’s statutory state shared revenues by $63,178.

When Council decided to ask voters to approve an increase in Berkley’s millage rate – for the first time since 1969- two proposals were turned down. Public forums were held, and in defense of their votes, citizens expressed conflicting statements:

• Save the Library!
• Cut library hours to three days.
• No new books!
• Tax dollars should go for public safety, street cleanup and parks, not library reading groups.
• Eliminate the street sweepers!
• Put the sweeper in storage.
• Sell the street sweeper and the arena!
• Don’t touch Public Safety
• No new fire truck.
• Cut across the Board
• Start at the bottom and lay off people.
• Let the Garden Club take care of plantings
• People should pay for recreation services.

Some solutions that were offered were implemented. When the second proposal failed to pass city administration proposed these measures which council approved:

• Library staffing and hours were reduced.
• Parks and Recreation staffing was reduced and all programs had to be self-funded.
• Three Public Safety positions were not filled, and remain unfilled.
• Staffing at the DPW and City Hall was reduced.
• Full time positions were reduced or replaced by part time workers.

Nine years have passed and these measures are still in effect. The awful economic downturn of 2007-08 continues to take its toll on our country, state and city. The national debt and deficit have increased. Every year the state budget process has been prolonged and settled at the midnight hour. Our city budget must be finalized by the end of May each year, and it must be balanced – and it has been.

Cost cutting measures have been adopted. Newspaper headlines boldly declare that salaries of public employees must be cut and that they must pay a greater percentage toward their health insurance. Salaries of some city employees have not been increased for two and three years. Recent contracts which have been ratified with DPW , Public Safety Officers and Merit System employees include no increases in salary for three years. Out of pocket costs for health care will increase for current employees and retirees. We have met that demand.

According to a report prepared by Finance Director David Sabuda, the estimated reductions in expenditures made by the city beginning with the 2002-03 Budget, at minimum amount to nearly $5,000,0000. Add the federal/state grants for the Eleven Mile Rd. reconstruction, and the estimated reductions amount to $7,459,428. The list of reductions includes items in every department of the city, health care premiums, and shared service contracts.

He also prepared a three year financial forecast. The bottom line is the Estimated Ending Fund Balance, which was $1,549,516. in 2009-10. City finances have been managed so that reasonable expenditures were covered and there is a fund balance- unlike state and federal finances. The problem that his forecast raises is that the fund balance will continue to diminish to $655,714. in 2012-13 – even with the salary and fringe benefit reductions that have been ratified.

State budget analysts have misidentified the cause of the economic problems of Michigan and other states as well. According to them the cause of this economic disaster lies in the paychecks, insurance, and pensions of public employees –current and retired. In Berkley these people are our DPW workers, whose salaries barely qualify as middle class wages. They are the Library staff, all but two of whom are part-time employees who do not qualify for fringe benefits. They are the Parks and Recreation workers, the staff at City Hall, and our Public Safety officers. Do you believe that these people are really the cause of the current recession?

City council members are required to be good stewards of the revenue of the city. We are responsible for approving expenditures that will result in a balanced budget that includes a reasonable fund balance. That balance is in danger of shrinking, and in that event city services will have to be reduced significantly, or revenues must be increased.

I look forward to receiving your reactions and suggestions.

Categories: Uncategorized

Know Your City Budget!

January 13, 2011 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

Budget Review Schedule for 2011

January 12, 2011 Leave a comment

All meetings are open to the public and will include a time for public comments.  Meetings begin at 6:30 pm and will be held in the 2nd floor conference room of the Berkley Public Safety Building.

Meeting Schedule
May 2 Draft budget available for public review at the Library and City Clerk’s Office.
May 9 Special City Council meeting to review budgets submitted from various departments.
May 10 Special City Council meeting to review budgets submitted from various departments.
May 16 Public Hearing and Budget Adoption
Categories: Uncategorized

Questions? Ask Away!

June 16, 2010 2 comments

Do you have questions about the city budget?  Post your questions here.

Categories: Uncategorized

What Services Do You Value Most?

April 30, 2010 1 comment

Tuesday, May 11th
1:00 pm

Come to the Community Center and meet with Berkley Mayor Marilyn Stephan to discuss the city’s fiscal challenges.  Offer input on the city services you value most.  Questions?  Call 248.658.3350

Additional Meeting Scheduled!
Tuesday, May 18th
6:30 pm

Additional meeting scheduled at the Library.  If you are unable to attend the meeting on the 11th be sure to come to the Library on May 18th at 6:30 pm.  Questions?  Call 248.658.3350

Categories: Uncategorized


April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Like all communities today, this tough economy has placed significant challenges to the City’s budget.  In preparation for these tough times the city administration has identified the General Fund as a significant area of concern.  In reviewing budget projections for the next three years, the General Fund will be faced with serious financial constraints.

Our biggest challenge is reduction in General Fund revenues due to:

  • Reduction in property taxes collected due to declining property values
  • Reduction in revenue sharing from the State of Michigan
  • Reduction in interest earnings on City investments

 In conjunction with City Council, staff is examining the General Fund to identify:

  • Core services
  • Secondary services
  • Desirable services

With that information the city administration will consider adjustments to the proposed budget that will be presented to City Council during the upcoming budget sessions.

Categories: Uncategorized

Budget Work Sessions

April 14, 2010 Comments off


  • May 10
  • May 11
  • May 12 (if necessary)

    Meetings begin at 6:30 pm in the second floor conference room of the Public Safety Building.

    Categories: Uncategorized