Pensacola population is actually less today than it was in 1980 (57,794) per the city’s bondholder’s report. Escambia County is up 35 percent for the same period. Update: I did a little more digging. The 1960 census was 56,752—so Pensacola has 379 fewer people than 40 years ago.
The 2010 budget has a table of the personal services costs for the period of FY 2003 to FY 2010. While the City has reduced staff, the personnel costs have still jumped $17.3 million –37 percent.
2003 Employees 996 Total cost: $47,161,754 Cost per employee: $47,351
2004 Employees 990 Total cost: $55,375,027 Cost per employee: $55,934
2005 Employees 992 Total cost: $58,163,978 Cost per employee: $58,633
2006 Employees 998 Total cost: $60,975,216 Cost per employee: $61,097
2007 Employees 1001 Total cost: $63,510,525 Cost per employee: $63,447
2008 Employees 984 Total cost: $64,498,672 Cost per employee: $65,547
2009 Employees 911 Total cost: $66,040,500 Cost per employee: $72,492
2010 Employees 875 Total cost: $64,435,800 Cost per employee: $73,641
Pension Costs by year:
Would this be cheaper under a strong mayor? Don’t know. What we do know is that the staff runs the City and the pension funds. Charlie Fairchild told the Pensacola City Council that the staff does a good job of providing services. It’s an expensive system that has seen the population shrink for nearly 30 years under its weight.
Bureaucracies will not cut their expenses and benefits without external pressure. They will absorb all the revenue they receive and will greedily look for more, unless the voters or the elected officials stop them. The state legislature made the city bureaucracy cut property taxes, not the Pensacola City Council. The Pensacola City Council exerts little pressure on the bureaucracy. Their power is split between 10 members.
The voters of Pensacola have no power to curb the bureaucracy either. At best, under the present system, a voter can elect four people, two votes shy of changing anything.