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5/29/2014
Weiner: Our new Budget is fiscally prudent; but our county pension is woefully underfunded" Weiner champions more rigorous pension management

Councilman Bob Weiner, 2nd District, said that he felt the budget was fiscally prudent, with an eye towards developing projects for New Castle County’s residents.

“We typically have disagreements during the process, and this year was no different, but the compromises which were made served the best interests of the citizens,” Weiner said.

Weiner said he is still concerned about the $400 million pension portfolio which he said is “woefully underfunded,” adding that he felt the county needed to adopt a more rigorous review policy for pension management. “Or else, we could all face the potential of a Detroit-like implosion,” he said.

[Weiner’s appointment of DuPont’s Chief Actuary to County Pension Board will bring institutional revisions to poorly managed county pension; and avoid future tax increases.]

NCCo. council adopts revised 2015 budget

By Wm. Shawn Weigel shawn.weigel@doverpost.com Posted May. 29, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

WILMINGTON, DE
 
New Castle County residents can look forward to no tax increase next year as council unanimously passes the 2015 budget.

The roughly $256 million budget was amended to include a reduction to the proposed parks project, and a $1.24 million increase to fulfil contractual obligations for the Fraternal Order of Police.

The overall capital projects budget was also reduced by roughly $1.3 million to $58.4 million, amended to cut back on proposed projects at Hermitage Park in Glasgow.

Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick, 3rd District, said that she and councilman Tim Sheldon, 9th District, worked with Executive Tom Gordon to reduce the parks funding, which originally proposed $18 million worth of changes and additions over a two-to-three-year period.

Just over $1 million was also removed from upgrades to Carousel Park originally proposed in Gordon’s plan for 2017.

“The overall budget process this year was a lot smoother than in the previous year.  The administration was willing to discuss and compromise on several issues,” she said.

Kilpatrick said she also had a concern on the amount of money proposed on farmland preservation.

Kilpatrick said that with recent issues concerning farmland purchases in Port Penn, the state, who partners with the Counties on matching funds for farmland preservation purchases, has many questions that have sent up red flags over the past several weeks.

“When an additional $1.5 million was proposed for 2015 in farmland preservation, it seemed as if the county was working towards making up the money that the state was now denying,” she said. “The administration, in a good faith effort to hold the line on that spending, was willing to footnote that line.”

That footnote reads, “FY2015 funding cannot be used towards existing farmland preservation applications or prior applicants without Council consent.”

Gordon said he was satisfied to see they received the funding to address the immediate issues in the parks this year.

“In reality, it would have been a challenge to get it all done in one year,” he said.

Gordon said that he felt the recent negotiation process was one of the best he’s experienced with regards to working with the council in terms of coordination and input.

“We didn’t make any part of it ‘do-or-die,’” Gordon said. “I think, with what we got, the end result that was approved by council is going to be good for the citizens.”

Gordon also said that in coming years, tightened budgets and a dedication to no tax increases is essential for New Castle County residents.

“Not this year, and not again next year. And everyone else should follow our lead until this economy recovers fully,” Gordon said.

Councilman Bob Weiner, 2nd District, said that he felt the budget was fiscally prudent, with an eye towards developing projects for New Castle County’s residents.

“We typically have disagreements during the process, and this year was no different, but the compromises which were made served the best interests of the citizens,” Weiner said.

Weiner said he is still concerned about the $400 million pension portfolio which he said is “woefully underfunded,” adding that he felt the county needed to adopt a more rigorous review policy for pension management.

“Or else, we could all face the potential of a Detroit-like implosion,” he said.


Read more: http://www.hockessincommunitynews.com/article/20140529/News/140529735#ixzz33IhCgiXU

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