Hebron Dollars & Sense
- Created on Monday, 30 July 2012 11:51
- Written by Super User
We, the tax payers, vote on the bottom line of the budget presented to us at referendum. We assume (perhaps mistakenly}, that the final budget is fiscally conservative, frugal and “bare bones” as so many of you state. I heard the term “Christmas Bonus” at the last BOS meeting before the referendum when the part time position at the dump was being offered as a possible cut ($6,900) with the dump closure of one day/week . The Interim Town Manager stated the individual was not in the Christmas Bonus group. I did contact a friend who works for the State -- Bhristmas bonuses are not in their department budgets. I would need to contact finance department directors in the other 168 towns to see if there is such a line item in theirs or is it unique to our town!
This term is the first line under 5020 - Employee Benefits. Although it was initially budgeted as a modest amount (considering our total town budget) to $2.350, the Ytd expenditure is listed as $22,738 (967.61% over) by June 06, 2012.
Christmas Bonus as defined by Webster’s on-line dictionary is: A special payment or yearly allotment given by some companies to regular employees during the Christmas season . Here is the link:
. Our town budget presentations before referendum list only main categories : payroll, repairs, heating etc.. Perhaps details are hidden if they will elicit a reaction from taxpayers; believe me, Christmas Bonus will elicit a negative reaction. I personally object to my tax dollar being used this way when services to the residents were put on the chopping block. Our employees are paid well and are even protected by unions. Note that payments to volunteer poll workers (per diem, meals, training etc) are listed fastidiously to the last nickel. Even their names are disclosed. NOT so with the “bonus” winners. Why? In this economy, should there even be a bonus category? All of you should be aware that in our current society, this termininology is considered "politically incorrect" to residents who may not be Christian.
I assumed the monthly financial report would prevent over-expenditures of items that the departments could control. A bonus is a set amount and once the limit is reached no more bonuses should be handed out. Is that a fair assumption?? Something is not quite right with that category. If these funds are being used for something other than bonuses, their coding needs to be changed. Perhaps the auditors will question this line item. I know taxpayers need an explanation
Reading through the agenda of the last BOF meeting, I found it insulting that ALL transfers were approved even the 967.61% expenditure for Christmas bonus. Was there any discussion or just a sweeping “Lets get out of here type of approval -- need to give the spouse a break and pick up the kids”? How many residents in town know this was approved? Does anyone (boards-departments) read the monthly financial reports?