WASILLA — The Wasilla City Council held a special meeting on Feb. 10 to discuss the budgets for the Clerk, Council, and Records Management for Fiscal Year 2022.
“Tonight is usually just an opportunity to kind of get the council thinking about what we have in our budgets,” said Clerk Jamie Newman.
With recently elected council members Simon Brown II, Jordan Rausa, and Tim Johnson, Finance Director Troy Tankersly detailed formulas that determined budget line items. Mayor Glenda Ledford called out each line item on it’s own asking for council input.
“Thank you all for your time. This is just the beginning of the budget season as some of you know,” said Ledford.
Due to the mayoral runoff in October, an additional $4,200 appeared as a decrease for the pay of temporary election officials. Among the budgeted items are the maximum possible amount of increase for pay increase and health care coverage, despite the high likelihood that the maximum amount will not be reached.
“When we look at the FY 21 wage numbers and compare them to the FY22 proposed budget, one might think that it’s an automatic 4.5 percent, but it’s not always the case mathematically because we are using the actual numbers and 20 to derive our FY 21 numbers, well now we’re deriving actual 21 number to generate the 22 numbers,” said Tankersly. “When we budget for health care we budge tat the max eight percent because we know that’s the max that the trust can charge us for the city. If it goes over eight percent then the employees contribute which is an incentive to the CBA and those unions to keep those premiums tight and to keep them under the eight percent number. They don’t want their numbers to increase.”
In the clerk’s budget, the $508,067 proposed would be a 2.89 percent increase from the previous year. For the Records Management budget of $14,425, a .35 percent increase is included. The Council budget for FY22 features a 3.41 percent increase at $206,473.Among the other items questioned by council members were the tech transfer fund totaling $900 for purchase of three computers.
“These transfers that are occurring from the general fund are flat, as opposed to if the departments themselves acquired these computers on their own cycles, then you’re going to see spikes,” said Tankersly. “What this is intended to do is keep a flat budgeted line item and then it buys how ever many computers across the city to replace those on an ongoing basis.”