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Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

City finances “challenged”

Although a recent Council Auditor report reveals an $11 million dollar surplus,  the Council Auditor’s closer look at City finances reveals the surplus is because many city departments are actually losing money by $11.7 million.  Most notably, Jacksonville Municipal Stadium has been operating at a $1 million deficit; the city’s building inspection program lost about $1.3 million overall; and, the city’s IT department is losing about $6.3 million.  (Rhetorical question to Kevin Holzendorf:  How do you lose $6.3 million in the computer department?)

Peyton’s response?

The mayor’s office said it is watching closely but actually believe the city is doing well considering the economic climate.

Mayor John Petyon told Channel 4 that city leaders know rough times are ahead. He did not talk about layoff, but the possibility looms. Also, there will be scheduled increases in new fee that could help the situation.

 “I think 2009 is going to be a challenging year, economically. I am not so sure we have hit the bottom yet. Certainly businesses are challenged, families are challenged, government is challenged and this government is challenged quite frankly. All of us are going to have to make decisions on priorities,” Peyton said.

Let’s take a closer look at what was revealed in the Council Auditor’s report about the City and its independent agencies.  Read the rest of this entry »

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