Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Finance Chair Hank Margeson Explains Why "Budgeting by Priorities" Works

I have a high very high opinion of Hank Margeson:  Councilmember Hank Margeson is presently Chair of the Public Administration and Finance Committee, with councilmembers Hank Myers and Kim Allen.  Hank presided in over 10 Budget meetings, and three Hearings.  In 2008 - 2009  Margeson Chaired the challenging Planning & Public Works Committee.  In addition, Hank holds the prestigious position as the city's Suburban Cities representative.  Hank lives with his wife Patti and their family on Education Hill, works full time in the insurance business, "lives to umpire!", and occasionally joins the Mayor and Parks & Trails Chair in a ball game.   Hank's letter is written in response to an email about the budget's cost-of-living adjustment.  Bob Yoder 
Finance Chair Hank Margeson

Dear Bob,

Thank you for your continued interest in the Budgeting for Outcomes (or Budgeting by Priorities) process. During the process of reviewing each of the citizen's priorities it was clear that in spite of challenging economic times, the City of Redmond's process was working. First, the budget offers were well prepared with an improved level of detail that enabled the results teams to rank offers. Second, the leadership team made some very difficult decisions while staying focused on the outcomes provided by each offer. The key to the BP process is to look for an outcome and then select or scale an offer to achieve the desired outcome.

Every budget offer was reviewed for scalability and where appropriate the offer was reduced to ensure a balanced budget was presented to Council. I can't say enough about how difficult this was as each department had positions eliminated. Read more....

It was during this process that the Mayor and his senior leaders worked with the various union leaders to agree to adjustments to cost of living adjustments in 2011 and 2012. The result of the negotiations limited the increases to percentages that are acceptable to Council. We very much appreciate the leadership shown by the leaders of all represented employees. The Council does not have a role in contract negotiations. Once an agreement is reached, Council respects the process too much to interfere.

I am proud of the process we follow for preparing, reviewing, deliberating, and passing the budget in Redmond. By focusing on the outcomes we allow professional staff to deliver a level of service that is desired by the residents in our city. During the biennium we will closely monitor the results of the various offers and adjust as necessary, much like we've done during the 2009-2010 budget. And we will be looking for ways to continue to improve the BP process.


Hank Margeson
Redmond City Council

1 comment:

Bob Yoder said...

Chair Margeson wrote in response to this letter I emailed on 11/22:

Dear Hank -

I've watched many of your 2011-12 budget proceedings, attended most BBP meetings, and spoke at your budget Hearing. I know you feel you need the 1% property tax. After all, it's only $7/year for an average home. I'm asking you consider balancing that tax against the COLA the Mayor says he needs for his employees. (My wife asks how many city layoffs could have been saved without that COLA.) You waited six years for your adjustment. Why can't staff wait a few years for their next COLA, too, until the economy gets stronger and we have significant inflation? With an average compensation of $108,000, by no means is staff poorly paid. And, It's only 0.5% reduction!

At this time, the depressed economy and absence of inflation doesn't warrant a COLA "raise". I know it's not easy, but please muster the troops and say NO to the Administration's proposed COLA .

Thank you,
Bob Yoder