Wednesday, September 8, 2010

George Hartzman's questionmarkless answer for Anonymous on the City of Greensboro's finances

"'s up to you, George.

If you see something problematic that you extrapolate from the data, tell us.

You are going to have to say something that does not end with a question mark
if you want to get your point across on this one."


Hello Anonymous,

Here is what I think I know, but has not been confirmed in writing by the City of Greensboro.

In April, the Greensboro News and Record reported
the city could afford $75 million worth of projects over the next two years
including a Library, the Aquatic Center and a recreation center
without a tax increase, by eliminating jobs and loose leaf pick up.

In May, we were warned of a $9.26 million shortfall and of closed or canceled libraries,
and the elimination of school crossing guards.

In June, we ended up with a tax cut and a bigger budget than the year before.

Greensboro’s 2009’s net revenues were about $9 million less than 2008’s,
and 2010’s net revenues are expected to be almost $8 million less than last year,
yet the city intends to spend a million more
without anyone explaining what happened to the crossing guards, loose leaf pick up
and the $9.26 million “shortfall.”

Greensboro intends to use more than $30 million of savings in 2010,
after spending almost $22 million of savings in 2009,
on top of spending more than $33 million in 2008.

2008's net revenues were $410 million,
2009's net revenues were $401 million,
2010's expected net is $393 million,
as the city draws down $85,633,808 of savings in three years.
Don't know how much cash is left.

Don't know what expected budget deficit is.

Don't know how they figured out a way to spend $1 million more with a tax cut
after telling everyone of millions in deficits and deep cuts.
So Anonymous, does the unknown information I am asking for seem to be worth knowing?

Or do you prefer blind trust in government?


Anonymous said...

somebody got sold a bridge, and they all live in Greensboro North Carolina.

Anonymous said...

They must think they have enough cash to get through next year's election without causing enought pain to get voted out of office.

Anonymous said...

Keeping everyone happy until all the reserves are gone doesn't seem like a very good plan.

Anonymous said...

the big tax hike must come after next year's election

Anonymous said...

Sorry I didn't reply sooner, I did not want to interrupt.

Your conclusion is unclear. I am am aware of the facts you recite. I'll take your word for it that there are a few things you "don't know." I sense your disease that something is amiss. But is that what you want to inspire in us? The same sense of discomfort or is there some insight you want to convey to us?

George Hartzman said...

"I sense your disease that something is amiss."

Awesome line Anon

Unfortunately, I don't have a conclution, hence the questions posed to the city.

I asked for what I thought to be simple questions.

If we have another $150 million in cash, we are in great shape.

If we can't spend anymore after next fiscal year, and our revenues keep falling, which I believe they will, then we are going to be the bearers of a massive tax increase, not unlike we are probably going to experience first from Guilford County.

So, is it a good idea to be borrowing to build a Swimmer Aquarium etc..., if we know there is a problem right down the road.

At this point we don't know enough to make a determination.

I tried to do so starting in May. and then June. and Now.

It didn't make sense for them not to release the same data Guilford County did.