Monday, October 08, 2012

NorCo's Proposed 2013 Budget Depletes Reserve

Although Northampton County Executive John Stoffa released his proposed 2013 budget late last week, he failed to schedule a news conference to discuss details of his $327 million spending plan. Since he has pretty much wiped out what was once a healthy fund balance, I can understand why he's unwilling to undergo scrutiny. It's irresponsible.

He is dipping into the unreserved fund balance, to the tune of $15.8 million, to fund his spending plan. "All other budgetary fund balances are restricted to the purpose for which they are intended." (See page 12). If this is true, it means the County lacks the resources to deal with an emergency.

There goes the seed corn.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Typical politician. Instead of doing the right thing he'll screw whoever comes in 2014. Meanwhile screwing the taxpayer at the same. Guess we will be looking at a significant tax hike in 2014.

Anonymous said...

Just another screw up from mr fumbles. Callahan, a real leader and manager, will have to come in and clean up this mess and others. Sure glad I don't live in the joke that is called narco.

Anonymous said...

Stoffa has been a very poor fiscal steward. But so has Callahan, borrowing money to make payroll and other desperate, unsound maneuvers.

Callahan is actually worse than Stoffa. And that's not easy to be.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, the King of Diving Into Reserves is none other than Lamont McClure, who continually advocated that over the past years.

Anonymous said...

Callahan, as Bernie pointed out during his race with Dent, has been no fiscal hero in Bethlehem. Far from it!
Stoffa has shown no leadership with this budget..Although he probably is correct in assuming he doesn't have the votes from Council, it doesn't mean you abrogate your responsibility..Take a realistic budget to council and let them hash it out.. If they do what they did last year and turn down a modest increase, then it's on them when the County goes to hell financially..Now they are talking about building a new Human Service building besides this..Are they out of their mionds!! The state is cutting money yearly and forcing the county to reduce employees..AS long as Corbett is there , this will continue..Why, in heaven's name , with a budget already forcing you to use reserves, would you build a building when you might not have employees to fill it..Crazy!!!! They have a good building in bethlehem already!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Any budget that cuts this far into the reserve, while simultaneously reducing what most departments can do, is fiscally irresponsible. Stoffa is guaranteeing a mega tax increase down the road, a la Glenn Reibman. He is engaging in precisely the same kind of budget madness I condemned in Reibman. In fact, it's worse. Reibman did not hack at departments until he imposed a major tax hike. Stoffa has been hacking at services AND has been diving into reserves.

As I have stated in a previous post, this is NOT leadership. Stoffa's fear about what Council might or might not do for political reasons, is NOT leadership. He should be doing what is in the best interests of the county, without regard to the political ambitions of individual council members.

At one time, Stoffa was motivated by what is best for the County Now it appears as though he is doing what he can to help Council members avoid making tough decisions. That's why they and he were elected.

Stoffa can drop the boom on two low paid clerks for sending emails with naughty language, but thinks nothing of a cabinet official who misled Council and is too timid to ask Council to do its jb with a responsible budget.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Why, in heaven's name , with a budget already forcing you to use reserves, would you build a building when you might not have employees to fill it"

You have a point here.

Anonymous said...

Any future county catastrophes should be covered under Obamacare. We'll be fine.

Anonymous said...

Government Accounting Organizations believe A reserve of 5 to 10 % of the budget is critical.