Sedona AZ (September 24, 2012) - A Sedona city taxpayer writes an open letter to the City of Sedona government and Council:
Subject: Sept. 25rd Agenda Item 9a, Unaudited Fiscal Year-end 2011-2012 Activity
I am looking at the City’s RESERVES (Fund Balance) bar chart which shows estimated reserves of a little over $41 million.
If the City Council plans to discuss the real Fund Balance, it would not be the figures being published via the RESERVES bar chart, but the Unrestricted Reserves amounts. I.e., Unrestricted Reserves (Fund Balance) = RESERVES – Restricted Reserves.
As you may recall, on May 22, 2012, via AB 1406, the City Council approved the tentative budget for the current FY and set the cap.
Via AB 1406 (FY 2011-2012 activity), the City legally set aside funds for various reasons. These funds are restricted in that they are tied to a particular use.
Isn’t it true that tens of millions not reflected on the RESERVES (Fund Balance) bar chart are Restricted Reserves? How many millions?
I ask that the RESERVES (Fund Balance) bar chart be expunged in its entirety.
$55,080,000 is the City’s excise tax bond debt at the end of FY 2011-2012. And, according to the Arizona Department of Revenue, Sedona has the 6th highest per capita rate of bonded indebtedness out of 92 Arizona cities ($5,261,17 per person as of June 30, 2011).
Last December (2011), the City Council refinanced $9.24 million, the callable portion of the Series 1998 Bonds, instead of retiring them. What a mockery of fiscal sanity!
Councilor Ward, in his www.SedonaEye.com/eye-on-sedona-finances-with-councilor-mike-ward City Talk article, reveals FY 2011-12 estimated Net Expenses of $12.1 million versus FY 2012-13 estimated Net Expenses of $20.4 million.
So, on May 22, 2012, via AB 1406, the City Council authorized itself to spend 69% more this fiscal year than last, using several million in savings in the process.
How could Council members ethically approve such a travesty?
What planet does the City Council, its super high-paid City Manager and its Budget Oversight Commission live on?Sincerely, Jean Jenks Sedona resident