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Former Mayor: Financial Calamity? Maybe not

Former mayor doesn't believe city is on verge of "financial calamity."

Editor's note: KC Zuber is the former mayor of Avon Lake.

To the Editor:

It seems not a week goes by and there is another article about the City of Avon Lake and its financial woes.

This is a little perplexing to me when the Avon Lake City Council in 2011 and 2010 raided the “rainy day fund,” a combination of the unencumbered cash reserves of the general fund and income tax transfer fund.  Avon Lake City Council took from the “rainy day fund” over $850,000 in 2011 and $500,000 in 2010 to pave roads.  City Council did this over the objection of the mayor at that time and knowing the State of Ohio would be making tremendous cuts in local government funding.

Even with these excessive expenditures, the City of Avon Lake ended 2011 with $5.8 million in the “rainy day fund.”  The City of Avon Lake’s own budget projects $3.85 million in the “rainy day fund” at the end of 2012.

 Through the first 10 months of this year income tax receipts are up over $418,000 from 2011 and $600,000 ahead of budgeted income tax receipts.  Add another $320,000 because Avon Lake City Council ended the trash subsidy and the City of Avon Lake should realize about $1 million more this year.  This new revenue will increase the “rainy day fund” to in excess of $4.5 million by the end of 2012.

Is the City of Avon Lake on the verge of financial calamity? I think not, but I’m an optimist. It is up to you to make that decision.

KC Zuber

Avon Lake

buckeye09 October 29, 2012 at 11:58 AM
So the rainy day fund ended 2011 with a balance of $5.8 million. It is projected to end 2012 at $3.8 million. So basically the city is spending $2 million more than it is bringing in. At that burn rate, the fund will be empty in 2 years. Even if you take Mr. Optimist's projections of a $4.5 million 2012 balance, the burn rate is $1.3 million and the account will be drained in 3.5 years. That may not be a calamity, but it is certainly not sustainable.
rgnocp38 October 29, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Of course, there is much more to the accounting of revenue than KC Zuber alludes to in his letter. Everyone should be proactive in obtaining your own information from your councilperson or the Mayor before judging the situation on information from an ousted, former Mayor.
Avon-Laker October 29, 2012 at 01:39 PM
City Government scares me the way they spend money and ask for more. Why is that the schools, the safety services and the city cannot live within the budgets they have, just like every citizen is supposed to. Everyone would love to have another 10-20% increase in their income/budget but at some point it all has to stop (especially when our economy is flat). I appreciate KC pointing out how mismanaged spending catches up with us eventually. It would be easy to write off his comments as sour grapes, but standing up for what he thinks is wrong takes a certain amount of courage.
George Z October 29, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Thank you KC. I appreciate your insight on the issue. Many in AL are tired of "we're broke" mantra from the current council / mayor. I am just afraid we are turning into BV with little business tax and all personal / prop tax. I am glad I voted for you even though you came out on the short end of the stick. This is all the effects of voting against Issue 2 and not the local gov't "can't do without". You can't have it both ways!
rgnocp38 October 29, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Zuber didn't have to deal with the massive loss of funding from the state that Mayor Zilka and the schools have had to deal with. It is easy to throw "topical" numbers around but there is much more within the accounting of these revenue streams. Such things as safety and education never have a loss of "business" activity and a flat economy is not a reason to deny proper funding of these things. The schools lost 7 million dollars because of reductions from the state. Saying to live within those means would be like me pushing for a 25% cut in someones pension or Social Security. Ridiculous!!
rgnocp38 October 29, 2012 at 08:10 PM
What it comes down to is that some are just unwilling to pay for services that generations have paid for at the same costs or percentage of income. The baby boomer generation had such a poor rate of savings during their lifetimes and now expect the younger generations to shoulder the cost of taking care of them in their senior years and during retirement. Stop ignoring the actual numbers! This community gets an excellent deal on education and municipal services even with the increase we face in costs. Some don't want to hear, "we're broke", I would like to stop hearing, "incomes are flat", clearly stated from national, aggregate data.
Citizens against former mayors October 29, 2012 at 09:17 PM
So if I understand former mayor Zuber, while he was in office spending was out of control and he could do nothing about it. Now that Mayor Zilka is in office the spending is under control and we are not broke? Sounds like it's good you are not in office anymore since you could not control your councils spending. This letter explains why you are going door to door telling people not to vote for the school and paramedic levies.
joe mama October 30, 2012 at 10:40 AM
Sounds like time for some layoffs
joe mama October 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM
The city pays way to many big salaries and its there fault. Time for some change.
Randy Watson October 31, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Sounds like it might be time for some spelling classes. "Their's" always time for improvement.

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