The employment contract between City of DeKalb and its new manager, Anne Marie Gaura, is part of the agenda for Monday’s council meeting.
I’m pretty pleased about this pick — Gaura’s resume looks the best to me of all the city manager candidates in terms of range and depth of experience — and I’m pleased with this contract, too. It has an expiration date. And look here:
The Parties acknowledge that under current provisions of City Code, Chapter 3 employees are entitled to accrue and be compensated for “Comp Time” or “Compensatory Time.” Notwithstanding such provisions, the Parties expressly agree and acknowledge that Employee is a management employee, exempt from FLSA overtime provisions. Employee shall not accrue or be eligible to be compensated for Comp Time or Compensatory Time, and any contrary provision of Chapter 3 shall be inapplicable to Employee.
They maybe ended up having to offer more salary in exchange for the Chapter 3 exemption, and that’s fine. Salary goes up front on the very publicly-discussed budget, while comp and other such paid leave accumulations take compensation off budget and push it into a little corner of growing liabilities in annual financial reports that only a few oddballs like me bother to read.
Anyway, these are welcome changes. Hat tip to His Honor and the council for some good decision-making lately. If Gaura is as tough and honest as she is experienced, DeKalb could really be looking at a new day.
Filed under: City Watch
| Tagged as: cafr
This is more from the June 2013 Benefits Hours Report I was telling you about yesterday.
|300 Sick Pay||4,172.75||79,776.10||3,073,591.38
|500 Comp Used||1,974.75||12,397.48||457,938.93
|550 Floating Hldy||384.00||185.00||8,590.87
|560 Banked Comp||45.00||16,427.10||807,522.19
|301 Sick Pay Fire||2,274.25||50,421.75||1,544,619.90
|401 Vacation Fire||7,920.00||10,608.00||326,591.66
|501 Comp Used Fire||.00||317.63||10,018.57
|561 Banked Comp Fire||.00||2,169.64||68,972.21
You can see that the banked comp (560) truly is banked, and the administrator-depositors are enjoying nice, risk-free annual increases when raises and COLAs are applied.
The caps on unused sick leave are very high in all departments. In fact, there are about 50 city employees who, thanks to overly-generous sick leave and/or comp time policies, could quit their jobs tomorrow and potentially walk away with checks for more than $50,000. Read the rest of this entry
Illinois’ Mercer County lies south of the Quad Cities and comprises part of its metro area.
Perhaps you’ve heard that the county’s treasurer, Mike Bertelsen, has been arrested and charged with stealing at least $13,000 from the county’s 911 Fund, the result of investigations that followed a forensic audit in the county office.
The Illinois Policy Institute has pointed out Mercer County transparency failures that IPI counts as red flags:
A lack of online transparency
A failure to file annual reports on a timely basis
Violations of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Violations of the Open Meetings Act (OMA)
I’ve suggested before that failures to turn in Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) and Tax Increment Financing (TIF) annual reports to the state might signal trouble, as tardiness correlated with financial corruption cases in Alorton and Dixon.
The violations of OMA and FOIA are either mostly or wholly related to Mercer County’s hideously dysfunctional and incomplete website. FYI: Dixon’s wasn’t much better at the time Rita Crundwell’s crimes were discovered. Read the rest of this entry
A couple weeks ago I mentioned that DeKalb’s financial consultants made recommendations for medical cost containment deserving of their own post.
Here it is, finally. Turns out it’s not just the recommendations after all and it’s very long, so grab a cuppa something and make the jump when you’ve got time to hang out for awhile. Read the rest of this entry
Filed under: City Watch
| Tagged as: budget
The City of DeKalb has been re-growing its post-recession General Fund reserve since FY2011, when a large reduction in force coupled with windfall revenues helped the city regain its financial footing. But are annual budget surpluses an indicator we’ve set out upon the right financial path? The latest Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) is now available, so let’s see if we can spot the trends.
The years represented in the above chart are the fiscal years, each of which runs July 1 through June 30.
The reserve looks pretty good now, but I believe it has given city leaders the wrong idea. Read the rest of this entry
Putting together DeKalb’s pension picture has been like a forestry hide-and-seek. Facts are the trees and while facts have been examined, there’s often an underlying feeling that the ecosystem has not yet been adequately described. So I keep going back in.
One “specimen” whose significance I failed to fully appreciate earlier is the shortfall between what is collected in city property taxes and the annual required contributions to the three pension funds. Unlike the State of Illinois, DeKalb faithfully makes yearly contributions; and if the property taxes don’t cover them, the city must free up additional revenues from the General Fund.
So far, such shortages appear to have fallen exclusively on IMRF and below is a piece of that picture.
Read the rest of this entry
The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) includes a table called “Schedule of Funding Progress” for each pension fund that the city is responsible for. An actuary determines the fund assets and liability, and from these are calculated the percentage that the fund is funded as well as the unfunded liability in dollars. I’ve pulled numbers from three or so CAFRs to bring you 12 years’ worth* of these calculations in graphic form.
Read the rest of this entry
The appearance of “Dixon Embezzlement Serves as ‘Case Study’ on Oversight Practices” over the weekend gives me another shot at commenting on this story (now that I am out of the hospital, hopefully for a good long time). Thanks, Rockford Register Star!
First, let’s take care of the error in the story. Read the rest of this entry
…can be found here (It’s a 64-page PDF so give it a minute to load).
As an incorrigible repeat offender I could not stop myself from submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain the following information:
1. The breakdown of the transfers so we can tell how much is going to the General Fund and how much is going to Debt Service. As you can see below, they used to break it down:
to General Fund
to Debt Service
I tried to look it up using the city budgets, but the numbers there do not add up to the sum stated in the TIF report. It might be important. Especially nowadays with EAV falling and with half of the property and sales tax increments being paid out to all the overlapping local governments as surplus, we need to keep an eye that the city can still cover its debt service payments as well. Combining the transfers as they did for FY2011, so that you can no longer tell where they went at a glance, is a step backward in transparency anyhow.
2. The reason why Joint Review Board annual meeting minutes are not routinely submitted.
3. The reason why DeKalb’s CEO doesn’t do the required CEO compliance certification.
Bonus table: Central Area TIF state and local sales tax increments:
|Fiscal Year||State Sales Tax Increment||Local Sales Tax Increment
The sales tax increments pretty much mirror what has happened in DeKalb overall: taxable sales plunged by tens of millions in 2008-9 and have not yet climbed back to pre-crisis levels.
Sales and use taxes also make up 40% of the revenues in DeKalb’s General Fund budget. DeKalb is hoping to collect $12 million in sales and use taxes during the current fiscal year, 2012, which ends June 30.
Additional sources: City of DeKalb’s FY2012 Adopted Budget (PDF pp. 120-124) and FY2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (PDF pp. 211-214).