But does city hall listen? Employee cost saving suggestions ignored?

In today’s DDN the “Professional” manager is asking for crowd sourced solutions to the budget problem:

City revenues are down across the board through April as income tax collections continue to slide $1.5 million below already conservative projections, according to information the finance staff gave city commissioners Wednesday, May 26.

“We are at the same income tax (collection levels) as we were in 1994,” Assistant City Manager Stan Earley said.

Revenue from investments is nearly $400,000 off budget predictions as a tough European economy has helped returns slide from 3.5 percent in 2008 to 0.7 percent so far this year.

City Manager Tim Riordan will embark on a “listening tour” next week to hear suggestions from citizens about how to strip $6 million from the city’s $155 million budget in order to plug a deficit.

Riordan and Mayor Gary Leitzell or a few city commissioners will be at the Southeast Priority Board, 2160 E. Fifth St., at 7 p.m. June 3 to hear ideas from citizens on what Riordan called “difficult options.”

The options being considered are to:

• Raise new revenue, including a possible income tax increase.

• Cut expenditures by reducing or eliminating services.

• Stop investments in infrastructure, technology, equipment and development.

via Dayton wants your cost-cutting ideas as it faces big revenue loss.

Yet,  documents provided to me from November of 2009, show employees within the Department of Parks and Rec’s had turned in suggestions outlining nearly a million dollars in savings to the city- only to be ignored.

The concept centers around reducing the Department of Parks and Rec back to a division- underneath Public Works- and cutting out a bunch of top management- including that of C. LaShea Smith- a city hall insider who doesn’t have a recreation background.  From the City Website- they still list a Director and an Acting Deputy Director- who also have an “Executive Secretary”

LaShea Smith, Director

Robin Williams-Waller, Acting Deputy Director

Joe Parlette, Golf Manager

Stephan Marcellus, Senior Recreation Program Coordinator

Brittany Collins, Senior Athletic Program Coordinator

via Staff | City of Dayton Ohio Recreation | Staff Members.

And although the City didn’t renew his contract, Mr. Donnell Gregory, PhD was the “youth czar” for a year- and paid $60,000 with no tangible benefits to the city. He was hired as a contractor outside of Civil Service- and is a fraternity brother of Commissioner Williams. He’s now employed by the University of Dayton. His video still appears on the Youth Commission website.

The “Friends and Family” plan has been working in the City of Dayton for a long time- attempts to do a FOIA request to include street number and name- to cross reference employee households was denied.

But, if City Hall is really interested in saving money- why didn’t heads roll about the retroactive  pay raise former City Manager Rashad Young gave himself, without a vote of the City Commission? And why wasn’t the step raise to middle and top management retracted– since we were in a crisis?

Here are the three PDF documents suggesting a million dollars in savings:

Budget suggestions

Memo to Civil Service

Presentation for budget proposals

It’d be interesting to hear what the City Manager’s response was- and why these cost savings plans aren’t being implemented.

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