Monday, March 28, 2011

Finance Committee Meeting 3/28/11

Dear Employees, True to my word I promised to look for more reductions before the next board meeting, so we would not have to reduce as many staff as had been projected. We will still have to reduced staff, but I hope to reduce the total number as little as I can while still responding to the budget crisis. Please understand me clearly, the number of reductions will still be as large. No one will like all of my ideas. I have tried to think as far outside the box without totally eroding public education and all that is good about what we do. Some of you said "Please don't tell anyone I sent this to you," and I won't tell. Finding more budget cuts is not pulling a "rabbit out of the hat". I have spent almost every waking hour on this. I have dug and dug and dug to find cuts and I have learned so much about this district. It has been an important process. My reductions are not meant to harm anyone or make people angry. I have touched almost everyone's "sacred cow". It is now for the Board to determine how they would like to proceed. As always, I appreciate your input and would love to hear from you. Here are some important dates to remember: Monday, March 28, 2011 5:30 p.m. Finance Committee Meeting Thursday, March 31, 2011 6:30 p.m. Board Meeting (The budget will be discussed) Tuesday, April 5, 2011 VOTE! If you want to discuss Board Candidates, give me a call. One other bit of information that several of you have asked me about. "Would the Board be willing to give JEA members close to retirement a benefit to allow them to retire a year early?" I personally think the idea has merit; however, since a Memorandum of Understanding would need to be written, it would be viewed as opening the contract. The risk is the same as opening the contract to decide on the WRS payment. As along as the JEA believes there is a risk, we can not move on any of these ideas. Please refer to the Journey to Excellence newsletter for a detailed list of budget reductions that I will be presenting to the Board.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Budget Shortfall 3/8/11

I presented my budget reduction list to the Board tonight. Now they will decide how much of the fund balance to use and if there are more reductions to be made. Please continue to think outside the box. Don't waste your time lobbying for positions. All positions are important. Think of other ways to reduce the budget or increase revenue. Thank you to all and congrats to the SCA!