Memos to the Council: This Week, Filling In a Few Big Blanks in the FY2011-12 Budget

Just what you wanted to kick off your Labor Day Weekend -- 16 pages' worth of budget Q's and A's prepared for the City Manager's Office for the city council following the August 8 budget briefing. There are 49 questions, all told, ranging from Big Picture to footnotes that flesh out the tale. For instance: One details the exact number of pink slips being handed out at Dallas City Hall (119 people will lose their jobs, with 356 total positions being eliminated) and from which departments (53 laid off in code compliance, 19 in libraries, 10 in the auditor's office and so forth). But, further down, another Q&A concerning parks maintenance explains that once mowing and trash pick-up becomes privatized, "there could be a potential mid-year reduction in force of up to 70 employees."

The memo fills in a few blanks concerning, among other things, the city's financial commitment to the AT&T Performing Arts Center; the ramifications of meet and confer coming due next budget (the city will owe police and fire folk at least $38 million by FY2012-13); a time line concerning the downtown muni court's makeover; plans to sell Elgin B. Robertson, which voters already nixed in November; how privatizing park maintenance will wind up reducing mowing, track pick-up and replacing athletic field lighting; and the impact of eliminating 84 library positions ("customers can expect a reduction in the variety and and number of programs offered and one-on-one service").

There's bonus material as well: The memo opens with a page of minority contracting figures, sans any context whatsoever; and has a few pages related to a dust-up between Mary Suhm and Dallas Fire-Rescue dispatch over scheduling. Jump. Might as well. You're paying for this stuff.

9-2.2011 memos

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky