WHAT WE KNOW: A six-month budget for the city of Geneseo shows a lot of red ink due to both revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of adequate funding for bond payments. Some would say past spending is also a factor.
WHAT’S NEW: In a special meeting Friday, aldermen gave city administrator Jo Hollenkamp a direction on the six-month budget which will go into effect July 1, advising that she assume 40% revenue loss from a year ago and creating a budget that equates to no raises. The calculations show a $1.1 million deficit in such a scenario at the end of 18 months. The city has already negotiated raises with the IBEW and FOP unions. Hollenkamp and finance director Jamie Matthews presented figures projecting both 40% and 20% cuts in revenue. At first, the motion was to figure for a 40% reduction in revenue and no raises. City attorney Margaret Kostopulos told the council that by directing the city to prepare a budget with no raises, they were authorizing Hollenkamp to discharge employees. “What if I can get to net zero by offering raises and a combination of furlough days? Are you okay with that?” Hollenkamp asked the council. Yes, they answered. “Everybody wants an assurance there’s not going to be layoffs,” said Mayor Sean Johnson. “There’s no way I can say that with any certainty. Even if we were a stronger city, there would be no way I could say that because there are too many unknowns.” The mayor called for aldermen to work on revenue sources in the interim.