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News / Perspective

"Pork Barrel"? List Is Circulating On City Hall's 14th Floor; Spending Items Would Consume/Deplete Surplus Oil Revenue That Gabelich-Neal-Schipske Seek To Use To Avert Mayor/Manager Proposed Cuts To Police/Fire/Parks/Libraries

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(Sept. 2, 2011, updated Sept. 3) -- LBReport.com has learned that before the Council votes on a proposal by Councilmembers Rae Gabelich, Steve Neal and Gerrie Schipske to avert cuts to police, fire, parks and libraries proposed by Mayor Bob Foster and City Manager Pat West, a list is quietly circulating on City Hall's 14th floor of Councilmember-desired spending items that would deplete surplus upland oil revenue and effectively prevent its use to avert the police, fire, parks and library cuts.

Mayor Foster and city management have called the uplands oil fund balance "one time" revenue (collected when oil price exceeded previously budgeted expectation) that should be used for "one time" spending items. However uplands oil revenue is a continuing revenue stream that the Mayor/Manager propose to budget in FY12 at $55/barrel (up from $45/barrel).

The Gabelich, Neal and Schipske budget alternative accepts the $55/barrel figure and seeks to use roughly $18 million -- already collected in the uploands oil fund -- to avert police/fire/parks and libary cuts plus roughly $4 million for one time projects while maintaining a $2 million surplus in the fund.

The Gabelich-Neal-Schipske proposal is agendized for Council action on September 6...the same day on which a Council majority could adopt all or part of a FY12 City Hall spending budget or do so on Sept. 13.


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