Monday, May 28, 2007

Journal Gazette reports that FW spent $1,643.28 per resident

Some of you are going to read this article and then say "If Bloomington spent $7,478.53 per resident, why can't we?" Others will point out that Marion only spent $1,115.74. Of Indiana's 2nd class cities, Fort Wayne ranks on the lower end of the per capita spending spectrum.

But it isn't how much that's the problem, it's what its spent on. Very few people would argue against increased police spending in response to a spike in violent crime. On the other hand, spending money to attract young people to Fort Wayne when the average age in this city is 2 years less than that of Indiana or the US as a whole is an example of trying to solve a problem that doesn't really exist. It is best to conserve city resourses during good economic times so that they are available during recessions. While people are disatisfied with the way things are going now, our local economy has grown. There is no way of knowing how long that will last. This is why it is important to oppose frivilous projects, even when the city can afford them.

In 2009 Fort Wayne will get $40 million when the Community Trust matures. Remember when Indiana had a budget surplus, the money was wasted in the Build Indiana Fund, and the sales tax was raised shortly after? I have this bad feeling that the next City Council will find a huge project to blow this money on, and then after the money is all gone the city will still have to pay for upkeep and maintanence costs. Part of the money should be used for property tax relief, and the rest should go into a rainy day fund.

4 comments:

ROACH said...

And I get what? for my money?
I coulda bought a nice used car for that much a year.
and we pay most city employees more than we earn ourselves. plus Education, health care, pensions, benefits, vacation, and retirement? Nice work if you can get it- pays more than wal-mart, kroger; less than GM.
Wheres all the private-sector "economic development?

enjoy your blog, Mr. Sylvester..

roach

Anonymous said...

Bob Enders - Maybe you can explain why the actual report states that per capita in Fort Wayne for 2006 was $ 4,572.89 whereas this article states that it was only $ 1,643.28? What are the numbers being used to come up with such wildly different amounts? Shouldn't someone question Ms. Melissa Henson, Commissioner, Dept. of Local Government Finance as to how she got these numbers? John B. Kalb

Robert Enders said...

Here is a copy of the report from the state, which confirms what you said, Mr. Kalb.

http://www.in.gov/dlgf/pdfs/2006_Expenditures_Per_Capita_Report.pdf

(kudos to AWB for the link to the state report)

Either the state is wrong or Ms. Henson is wrong. The way to calculate per capita spending is divided the spending by the number of Fort Wayne residents. I will look up the actually figures, and do the math myself.

Robert Enders said...

Mr Kalb,
The 2006 approved budget for the City of Fort Wayne was $173,985,130

divided by

2005 US Census estimate of number of Fort Wayne residents was 219,346

I got $793.20.

In order to explain the discrepancies, I would need to know how many people Ms. Henson thinks lives in Fort Wayne and how much she thinks the city spends.