Toward the end of every year, as departments shuffle funds from one account to another to meet their obligations, a flurry of budget transfers comes before the Common Council for approval. At last night's Council meeting, there was such a resolution from the Youth Department. Here are the details:
Reviewing the resolution, which appeared on the aldermen's desks for the first time last night, Alderman John Friedman observed, "A lot of this money is coming from senior programming. We already took $100,000 from next year's programming. The seniors are taking it in the teeth twice."
City treasurer Heather Campbell explained that money had been allocated in the 2015 budget--$10,000 to be exact--for Senior Program Development, but no Senior Program Development ever happened. The recreation supervisor at the Youth Department, who retired earlier this year, presumably with a pension from the City, had been rehired as the bingo caller for the seniors--a job that pays $6,500 a year or between $12 and $12.50 an hour. Money from Senior Program Development had to be transferred to an account that didn't exist in the 2015 budget--Senior Assistant--to pay his salary. The rest of the money meant to develop programming for seniors that went beyond bingo and yoga--$7,906--went to "Youth Center--Personal Services," in other words, salaries for Youth Department staff, an account to which $177,709 had originally been budgeted.
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