Casar FY 22 budget

Only City Council members and authorized staff are allowed to post on this message board.
Greg Casar
Posts: 181
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:20 pm

Casar FY 22 budget

Post by Greg Casar »

Thank you, everyone, for the robust discussions on the budget.

I support many of the amendments brought forward by the dais, including the EMS/Fire amendments from CM Alter, the resiliency/community schools amendment from CM Tovo, the community health workers prioritized by CM Fuentes, the mental health priorities of CM Kitchen, and the childcare and parks amendments from CMs Pool and Ellis. I understand that we are very short on recurring dollars, but if we are to find those, I understand the need for the aerial apparatus at AFD and our Downtown EMS, and we should continue looking for ways to address those needs.

In addition to the priorities above, I plan on submitting the following budget amendments.

CASAR-1: Increased one-time Stipend for civilian staff (CM Renteria has submitted budget questions on this issue, and I appreciate his longstanding support of our public employees)

During the winter storm and the ongoing pandemic, our appreciation has only deepened for our City employees. We all want to recognize our employees' work, and we also want to retain our employees so that we can continue providing services in this difficult time. To this end, I have asked a number of budget questions similar to CM Renteria’s regarding the cost of increasing the one-time stipend for our staff, especially our front-line employees. I plan to bring an amendment to increase the stipend this year. I have asked a question about what the cost would be to provide a $1000 stipend (rather than $500) for employees making less than $80,000 a year. Also, many of our lower-paid temporary employees are not slated to receive a stipend at all. I have asked a question about reallocating stipends from those staff making over $120,000 toward those lower-salary temporary staff; alternatively, we could find other dollars for providing this support to our front-line temporary staff. I’ve spoken with several managers and executive team members today who all deeply appreciate the work of our front-line staff—including temporary staff— and everyone has been supportive of finding different ways to further support those employees who are lower on the pay scale, because retaining our employees and keeping services going depends on it.

I appreciate the 2% COLA in the Manager’s budget plus the existing stipend proposal, and I thank him for this. But whether it is by moving some stipends around or by finding funding from the budget, we can do more for those folks driving trucks, cleaning buildings, providing vaccines, fixing pipes and power lines during the storm, and doing other forms of critical work this year.

CASAR-2: Family Violence Shelter Contingency
My second budget amendment will be to continue the authorization for the purchase of the family violence shelter, and to provide $1.8M in contingency costs in our capital budget. As you may recall, we authorized certificates of obligation in the FY21 budget to purchase a hotel for the family violence shelter. Given the economic recovery and real estate market, our Office of Real Estate has recommended that we authorize $1.8 million in contingency costs in case the cost of purchase or renovation has increased since last year. This additional funding would not be used if we can keep the cost of the shelter at the level budgeted last year.

CASAR-BR-1: This budget rider directs staff to request a waiver from the Governor’s Office to exempt Forensics and 911 from the police department budget in accordance with HB1900; decouple the Forensic Science Office from APD at the latest in the next budget, and work with stakeholders such as SAART while Forensics remains in the department.


-Greg
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4
Greg Casar
Posts: 181
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:20 pm

Re: Casar FY 22 budget

Post by Greg Casar »

Colleagues,

The Council could fund many of its priorities while also reducing property taxes for the average homeowner.

Illustration of potential amendments for one-time dollars:

• $3.0M for Parks- ½ for childcare at recreation centers and ½ for groundskeeping, temporary rangers, maintenance, etc.
• $3.0M for additional Fire, EMS, and mental health needs (Meadows)
• $3.0M for HSO- 3 years of funding staff needs
• $2.5M for anti-displacement funding—right to return, right to stay, relocation support
• $2.5M for increased stipends to retain and recognize front line staff, including temps
• $1.0M for violence prevention efforts
• $1.0M for community health workers (in addition to existing $500K)
• $1.0M for resiliency and community staff at schools (potential multi year funding)
• $3.0M for additional needs such as live music and iconic venues, food insecurity, Universal income, Workforce First, etc.

Total: ~$20M

There is $23.3M in funding available without raising taxes.

Greg
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4
Greg Casar
Posts: 181
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:20 pm

Re: Casar FY 22 budget

Post by Greg Casar »

Colleagues,

Please see my budget amendments below:

CASAR-1: Additional One-time Stipend
Cosponsors: CM Alter, CM Kitchen, CM Renteria
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 183143.pdf

CASAR-2: Family Violence Shelter Contingency
Cosponsors: CM Alter, CM Ellis, CM Tovo, Mayor Adler
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 142503.pdf

CASAR-3: Anti-Displacement
Cosponsors: CM Fuentes, CM Renteria
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 182754.pdf

CASAR-BR1: Forensics/911
Cosponsors: CM Alter, CM Kitchen, Mayor Adler
http://assets.austintexas.gov/austincou ... 142735.pdf

-Greg
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4
Post Reply