City managers often confuse the discussion of city finances with minutia. There always seems to be ways to distract for the real truths. The Airport is? or isn’t? a real enterprise (city run business), we need, or don’t need, a sewer improvement fund we don’t need one.
In both cases, it really doesn’t matter that the Airport owes the general fund $70-100,000 dollars and that keeps growing. They took the money from the sewer improvement fund, so I believe we will be back in a cycle of no money for much needed work and have to raise the sewer fee in a couple years.
This year there isn’t enough money in the general fund to go around, and still keep half the promises council has made. The city has $345,000 in unattached, retained earnings, reserve, whatever the city wants to call it. The city is supposed to keep a reserve of 20%, our budget is $1.5 million, that is $300,000. Some might see that as a lot of money, the truth is, it is a thin piece of hazard tape protecting the city from the end of the line.
Consider this money the balance you like to keep in your checking account as a safety net, because just like you, bills are regular and must be paid on time, but income is more erratic. There has been only one year that I was Treasurer to a balanced, non deficit, budget and that is why we are here!
Citizens have to respect if there is no City of Dunsmuir, there is no Dog Catcher, there is no Code Enforcement Officer, there is no Library, because the County only has one code enforcement officer (presently a vacant position) in the whole County, the County has already chosen to get rid of our Library, Animal Control officers (two for the entire County). We will have a lot less to say in our own government.
So let us focus on truth, we are a city of 1500 people going through a tough patch, we expect a lot from our city, we wil be okay if we hunker down and get through this year, but we must stop spending in deficit.
Mario J. Rubino