Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bethlehem Police OT Budget Being Handled Properly

The Express Times' Lynn Olanoff reports that Bethlehem police have spent their entire $100,000 OT budgeted for this year and need for money. Now as cRaZy as this might sound, that's actually a good thing.
Instead of creating a big OT buffer into a municipal budget, it is a good idea to set it a bit on the low side, and force department heads to come in and explain the need for an increase, justifying it to the governing body. In Bethlehem's case, it appears that police can explain why they have gone over their OT budget This exercise is infinitely preferable to a big cushion that can be spent in December.  

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

If course you would defend Callahan's goof-up. Fortunately, there is now another venue to get the facts out there on the radio.

Anonymous said...

Think you are incorrect on this one Bernie. It is unethical to not budget accurately and a disservice to taxpayers. Transparent government means complete honesty
and not withholding information , especially financial.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Gregory, please look into this overtime matter.

Anonymous said...

2:11 agreed.

just another budget trick - they knew from past history that they couldn't make it on $100,000 OT.

the reporter is obviously a pawn in this game - no real investigation into past budgets

Anonymous said...

This is exactly the kind of Callahan budgetary sleight-of-hand that Charlie Dent warned us about. It's simply unethical and dishonest to not properly budget proper amounts ahead of time. That you would defend this dishonesty is understandable, given your documented, oily ethics.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe it is entirely appropriate to keep OT budgets a shade on the low side and make departments come in and justify OT. That is about as transparent as you can get.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You especially want to monitor OT budgets for police and fire very closely bc they are so susceptible to abuse. The best way to do that is keep them just a little low.

Anonymous said...

The negative comments clearly don't know the facts. Police overtime was budgeted based on prior years. This year circumstances beyond the imagination on the police chief, mayor and business admin. Have created a need for more overtime. There are no less than 14 officers out on short term disability or workers compensation. How can you plan that at least 3 officers suffered leg injuries while on duty or 2 officers needed back surgery. You can't.

Parthenology said...

milking the system - that's what cops do best

Anonymous said...

"...a shade on the low side..."? This is August, not December.

There may well be a reason why OT is over budget, but to portray this as an example of good budgeting technique is ridiculous.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I disagree. I like the idea of requiring department heads to come in and air out the reasons for OT. In Bethlehem's case, they appear to be legitimate. I would much rather hear that than read some audit, three years later, describing how Allentown firefighters milked the system. This is more real time and is much more transparent. I believe City Council and Callahan did the right thing here.

Anonymous said...

7:41 has it right. There have been a lot of officers out on injury, both work and non-work related. More so than in years past. You can't budget for that. People wouldn't want to see their taxes raised to fund potential what ifs.

Anonymous said...

This is a real heads up budget deal - broke in Aug.
yep - real good deal.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I know. You'd rather see a big pot of money and no scrutiny. Do you realize how stupid your thinking is?

Anonymous said...

Expose this fraud Mr. Gregory.