EDITOR: The Cameron Park CSD now has an approved budget for the coming fiscal year starting July 1 with a structural deficit of at least $113,265 funded by savings from deferred fire program capital expenditures such as engines and other safety equipment and maintenance. The exact amount of the deficit will not be known until sometime after June 30 when the district completes its year-end accounting process.
This coming fiscal year’s $4,988,599 budget includes two additional full-time, permanent positions with full benefits and other discretionary spending and is more than 13.8 percent greater than the spending expectations for the current fiscal year to end June 30. The CSD board approved this 13.8 percent spending increase with flat property tax revenue expectations while El Dorado County and others are looking to a 1 percent property tax decline.
At the general board Meeting on June 20, Board member Greg Stanton said, “Come September, if the money is not there, we will make the cuts needed.”
My question is, Why are we spending money we do not have in hand? Is that not exactly the game that has gotten this country into the financial mess it finds itself in today? If September is such a short time to wait to see “if the money is not there” then surely it is not too long a time to wait to be sure the money is truly there to spend.
During the same discussion, Stanton also suggested it was important to give the district and the general manager the tools with which to do the job of running the district, including the two new permanent positions. Yet, these two positions are to be held unfilled until September for review by the board.
A tool indeed, like a shovel with only the handle and no spade. In addition, approved positions without funding can lead to unintended financial results in the future when the details of approval become faded and susceptible to current circumstance.
Again, I ask, if September is such a short time to wait to see “if the money is not there” then surely it is not too long to wait to be sure the money is truly there to spend.