Pensacola

Pensacola mayor abandons fiscal conservatism

July 27, 2017

During his first term, Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward proposed cuts in government spending that let him run for re-election in 2014 on a fiscal conservative platform. He achieved the savings by giving the West Florida Regional Library system to the county and renegotiating the city and police pensions.

The mayor reduced the overall budget by $23.6 million from FY 2012 (his first budget) to FY 2015 (the budget approved before November 2014 election).

First Term FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015
General Government  9,275,200  8,632,000  8,634,100  8,473,500
Public Safety  30,841,800  30,786,600  31,501,000  33,090,000
Physical Environment  54,704,400  53,527,600  41,600,000  45,087,900
Transportation  30,613,100  26,571,600  25,179,300  26,461,100
Economic Environment  18,476,400  17,800,400  17,979,500  17,254,500
Human Services  30,000  30,000  30,000  30,000
Culture & Recreation  16,437,900  16,328,400  9,112,600  9,174,700
Debt Service  19,821,600  27,778,200  19,619,900  20,216,100
Total Expenses  180,200,400  181,454,800  153,656,400  159,787,800
Other Financing Uses  41,905,700  40,013,000  38,542,300  38,702,800
Total Financing Uses  222,106,100  221,467,800  192,198,700  198,490,600

Unfortunately, Mayor Hayward appears to have abandoned fiscally conservatism during his second term –going from a low of $192.2 million for FY 2014 to a high of $226.7 million proposed for next year (FY 2018).

Expenses (excluding the Other Financing Uses) have gone from a low of  $153.7 million in FY 2014 to $183.3 million for FY 2018—nearly a $30-million increase.

The savings from no longer running the library system and pension negotiations from his first term have evaporated. The total expenses in the FY 2018 budget ($183.3 million)  are the highest in the city’s history.

Second Term
FY 2016 FY 2017 FY  2018
General Government  9,485,300  9,655,800  7,773,800
Public Safety  32,827,700  33,254,400  33,565,100
Physical Environment  52,247,700  54,218,300  54,444,800
Transportation  25,513,900  25,265,800  31,248,800
Economic Environment  18,211,500  21,154,200  20,406,700
Human Services  30,000  30,000  30,000
Culture & Recreation  9,649,600  9,643,700  11,779,400
Debt Service  23,394,100  22,451,500  24,080,600
Total Expenses  171,359,800  175,673,700  183,329,200
Other Financing Uses  39,823,200  40,799,200  43,329,600
Total Financing Uses  211,183,000  216,472,900  226,658,800

In 2010, Ashton Hayward was elected on the theme of reducing the cost of city government. His transition team was tasked to find reductions in spending. Mayor Hayward want to get the city budget below $216 million (FY 2011). It took his administration three years to accomplish it.

Here are the budgets for the 12 years prior to his election – under the city manager form of government:

City Manager Gov’t FY  2011 FY2010 FY 2009 FY 2008
General Government  9,008,200  9,571,600  10,079,300  11,598,400
Public Safety  30,868,000  29,544,600  33,377,900  31,544,300
Physical Environment  54,370,500  53,667,800  55,949,300  54,507,000
Transportation  27,960,300  26,222,200  26,623,100  29,740,200
Economic Environment  18,643,200  14,735,500  14,902,900  14,449,100
Human Services  37,500  61,500  115,000  150,500
Culture & Recreation  16,990,100  16,838,100  16,759,100  18,506,200
Debt Service  17,098,400  15,753,400  14,378,700  10,852,300
Total Expenses  174,976,200  166,394,700  172,185,300  171,348,000
Other Financing Uses  41,802,600  40,337,500  41,526,600  40,419,900
Total Financing Uses  216,778,800  206,732,200  213,711,900  211,767,900

 

City Manager Gov’t FY  2007 FY 2006 FY 2005 FY 2004
General Government  16,089,200  13,257,100  13,289,500  11,603,829
Public Safety  32,913,600  29,449,400  26,848,600  27,663,683
Physical Environment  55,406,600  44,757,300  43,397,700  41,989,412
Transportation  27,030,700  24,443,600  19,766,400  18,794,872
Economic Environment  16,771,400  12,962,500  12,482,300  11,959,606
Human Services  145,000  137,500  140,000  129,903
Culture & Recreation  16,108,100  18,117,600  13,907,300  13,683,423
Debt Service  13,408,200  12,817,100  15,647,300  11,707,382
Total Expenses  177,872,800  155,942,100  145,479,100  137,532,110  
Other Financing Uses  58,226,900  52,516,800  49,411,600  49,414,563
Total Financing Uses  236,099,700  208,458,900  194,890,700  186,946,673  
City Manager Gov’t FY 2003 FY 2002 FY  2001
General Government  11,160,267  11,805,785  10,678,708
Public Safety  22,365,890  22,495,005  24,362,527
Physical Environment  39,094,672  32,746,497  42,651,211
Transportation  23,246,437  18,439,270  18,832,907
Economic Environment  12,117,007  10,991,027  9,956,839
Human Services  111,850  180,092  223,374
Culture & Recreation  13,056,612  15,420,081  14,200,378
Debt Service  12,221,680  13,320,124  12,409,936
Total Expenses  133,374,415  125,397,881  133,315,880  
Other Financing Uses  39,024,597  39,119,641  34,942,023
Total Financing Uses  172,399,012  164,517,522  168,257,903

 

 

You Might Also Like

  • Susan senkarik July 27, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    Regardless of where one stands, figuring out smoke and mirrors is always tricky… and none of it is reality!

  • CJ Lewis July 27, 2017 at 9:39 am

    As a reminder, as described by then County Administrator Oliver, the library funding crisis was caused by the state law requirement that the county divert about $3 million from the county’s General Fund to give to the city’s CRA. I was present at the meeting and recall Commissioner May asking the question. I had long known about the problem but to judge by the gasps in the audience it had been kept a big secret. Part of the “deal” to provide a stable source of funding for the library was that the city and county would reduce their general property tax millage rates by an amount equal to the new library property tax. I don’t recall the extent to which the county did as promised. However, for sure, the city did not. That is why city property owners now pay a combined higher property tax millage rate imposed by the City Council than they did when Hayward took office in 2011. Further, each September the City Council goes through an elaborate but never reported bureaucratic kabuki dance voting to increase the “property tax levy.” Last September, the increase was 4.06% or $583,161. No real reason was given but the increase helped pay for the City Council’s 53% pay raise they gave to themselves after abolishing the citizens’ Compensation Task Force that had previously set their salaries. I have not done the math recently but believe that a comparison of all city taxes and fees comparing Fiscal Year 2011 comparing the proposes rates for Fiscal Year 2018 (October 2017 to September 2018) will show no decreases in rates, percentages or fees except with respect to the city’s property tax millage rate that was slightly reduced but then increased by a greater amount when you add in the new library tax millage rate. The City Council could but will not direct an independent review of city services but such a review would likely show a decline over the last six years. For no reason that anyone can explain, the under-staffed Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has been able to keep the crime rate outside of city limits significantly lower than inside city limits. The Escambia County Fire-Rescue Department is now more capable than the city’s fire department. Last year, I was told that Fire Chief Allen had a secret plan to fix the problems in the city’s fire department that would be reflected in this next year’s budget. If the plan is there, it is well hidden. Adding insult to injury, again this year about $10 million of the county property taxes paid by city property owners will be used to subsidize the Sheriff’s road patrols outside of city limits to include in Century. If Councilman Wu runs for the District 4 seat as a Democrat as he is telling people he plans to do, perhaps he will raise this last issue.