Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Proposed Muni Budget suggests a .25 millage increase

Budget hearings start this week for the newly published 2017 Manager's Recommended Budget.
Highlights include: 

  • .25 millage INCREASE
  • A significant "reinvestment" in the Public Works Facility, such as relocating the current indoor shooting range to a new indoor shooting range at the Golf Course, and various changes to improve delivery of services. Total cost: $6,385,000.
  • Replacement of defrost system for both ice rinks. Total cost: $1,715,000.
  • Replacement of a 15 year old pumper truck. Total cost: $575,000.
  • Hiring freeze for 2017
  • No change in the rain tax*
  • The Recommended Budget includes a current funding level of $70,000 for deer management. The budgeted amount may be reduced depending on the remaining balance of a 2016 budget of $100,970. All are above the line. Scheduled Replacement of Bleachers at Ball Fields - New code compliant aluminum bleachers will be installed to replace existing non-compliant units. All bleachers will be replaced over a three-year period.  Playground Fall Zone Replacement -Replace rubber fall zone material under the playground equipment at both the upper and lower playgrounds in Main park. Those are below the line and less important than killing deer.
  • Fees are going up.
  • Training is decreasing 17.6 percent in 2017. An expanded level was budgeted in 2016 for Public Works maintenance staff training. Police and Fire have been sending personnel for “Train the Trainer” to certify trainers within the department, reducing training costs. But the PIO is currently getting "training" in New York City.
Deer management is ranked at #150, with additional deer management at #158. See what has a lower priority in the total list of 267 line items starting on page 19 of the Service Level Rankings. To be fair, anything ranked below #178 didn't make the cut.

Check out what our Public Information is costing Mt. Lebanon. See page 28 of the Recommended Budget. Budget for 2017 appears to have been cut by $4000. 

*Storm Management Fee


Jason Margolis said...

Hmmm. .25 millage increase. Not even considering what the school district will do.

Here's a different option:

+ Close down the Public Information Office - save $800K-$1M
+ Reduce the millage by .25 - invite middle class families back to MTL
+ Call it a day

Anonymous said...

Page 2 No Public Information Officer ?

E. T. Gillen said...

Jason, we have a magazine mailed to us, FREE OF CHARGE and no cost to taxpayers called "In Community Mt. Lebanon." We also have NextDoor being utilized by our police chief. We really have no need for a magazine or LeboALERTS. I'll even commit to another year of running my blog. There is zero cost for Mt. Lebanon residents, or the public. I will be starting my seventh year at the end of this month, donating my time. Now THAT is an example of donating, not allowing killers on private property.

Anonymous said...

There's plenty to think about with that budget and plenty not to believe.

This blows my mind:

Investigative Services Youth Service 3/5 (Level) 163,390 (Cost) 66 (Page)

$163,390 for .... um... what? To battle youth crime?

Perhaps Mt Lebo needs a new release describing its problems with youth crime.

E. T. Gillen said...

Investigative services was budgeted for $1,035,950 in 2016. For 2017, it is $924,450. Now, they are investigating deer instead of dear.

E. T. Gillen said...

Full drug enforcement is ranked #5, in the category of Investigative Services. We're so f'ed up.

E. T. Gillen said...

This might be the right time to add this link. As deer/vehicle accidents rise, residents ask for new solutions in Mt. Lebanon

Anonymous said...

Get rid of the damn magazine. http://www.thealmanac.net/20161102/tax_increase_proposed_in_mt_lebanonx2019s_recommended_2017_budget

Anonymous said...

I am so in favor of dumping that Mt. Lebo. Magazine rag. What objective information could it possibly contain if it is published by the municipality? That's nuts.

How much could we save by scraping the yellow journalism rag of a mag?

Anonymous said...

I guess the muni could keep a part-time person in the PIO just to issue Lebo Alerts and whatever other small tasks that need to be done. Although I wonder just how many of Lebo residents actually ever see a Lebo Alert.

Dump the Mt. Lebanon Magazine. It's expensive, it's full of municipality-fed propaganda and nobody reads it anymore, except to get their yucks.

When I moved here almost 20 years ago, I thought that it was the oddest thing that Mt. Lebanon published its own magazine. And, on very pricey magazine stock.

Alternatively, if the muni insists on such silly drivel, they could publish a two-page newsletter every month.

Anonymous said...

I just noticed the Almanac article, "Professor offers Mt. Lebanon commissioners affirmation on deer management" 9/20/16. While I don't know how this conference call with Paul Curtis was set up, I'm guessing that DeNicola in his efforts to close the deal on another 100K bait-and-shoot deer killing program couldn't explain why the car-deer collisions went up during/after his bow-hunting and bait-and-shoot killing programs, and so he told Keith McGill to sch. a conference call with (his buddy) Paul Curtis from Cornell.

Cornell's Dept of Natural Resources (DNR) faculty, Paul Curtis, Bernd Blossey, and Jay Boulanger, are well known pro-hunting/culling advocates who are partners with New York's Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) (the DEC is the equivalent state agency as the Pa Game Commission [PGC]). Cornell's DNR dept. does pseudo science white papers, most of which are not peer reviewed, that promote lethal methods of deer mgt. Their studies of non-lethal methods, i.e. sterilization and contraception are intentionally sabotaged so they can report that they aren't effective. Anyone with any basic knowledge can review their studies and reports and pick them apart as completely unscientific and invalid. This Cornell dept is as biased as the DEC and the Pa Game Commission in promoting hunting and lethal methods. Just about everything they say is total BS. Of course, they have the Cornell name-brand and so they are automatically believed. So Paul Curtis likely does a favor for his buddy Tony DeNicola and secures him a $100K windfall for the next 4 years (ad infinitum) at Mt. Lebanon taxpayers expense. BTW, what the HELL does Curtis know about Mt. Lebanon or the deer in Mt. Lebanon to make any informed comments. So Mt. Lebanon is duped again into basically giving DeNicola a blank check for the next 4 years+.

I guess it's too much to ask the Commissioners to do a little home work and recognize the bias and conflicts of interests of agencies and vendors that are giving them advice.

Anonymous said...

The Mt. Lebanon commissioners are lazy half-wits. We (not I) voted for them. This community needs to find a rational and intelligent candidate to replace Steve Silverman in 2017. Brumfield is not running again next year. So, there is another chance for a rational, intelligent candidate to gain a spot on the commission.

If Silverman is reelected in 2017 and another sloth replaces Brumfield, then the complaining about the commissioners must come to an end.

E. T. Gillen said...

I'll still be complaining if that happens, 9:52 AM. I had a legitimate campaign in 2011 and a "protest" write in campaign last year. As long as the Republican good old boys are still in charge, it isn't going to change - at least on the Republican side. The Dems are too busy honoring Mt. Lebanon's finest ladies to do anything else. Didn't they just forget to promote a special Dem Coalitions dinner which was held last night?

Unfortunately, if you are against toxic turf and against killing in Mt. Lebanon, you don't stand a chance of winning. Our commissioners spent almost a million dollars putting in toxic turf, knowing that the ice rink was in trouble, and we needed a new pumper truck. Public Works? Former PW director, Tom Kelley complained about that for YEARS. But we have money for killing deer and toxic turf, but let's raise taxes to get it all done. Will there be another bond issued to pay for the replacement of the toxic turf? You know it.

Anonymous said...

Can't believe they want to build a shooting range at the golf course.

speaking of police, what really is a lebo alert since there never seems to be one about anything that matters?

so here's a bebo alert -- robbery/stabbing last night at banksville atm plaza. bebo = banksville news for lebo people.

E. T. Gillen said...

The first budget meeting starts in thirty minutes.

Anonymous said...

Quotes from the recent PG article, "As deer/vehicle accidents rise, residents ask for new solutions in Mt. Lebanon" below states:

"The municipality had hoped it would make progress toward its goal to reduce deer/vehicle collisions by 50 percent, but three times as many accidents were recorded in the first eight months of 2016 as in the same time period in 2015." ... "We were able to effectively remove more than 100 deer without incident" in last year's archery cull, he [Keith McGill, Municipal Mgr.] said.

The Mt. Lebanon Commissioners have been repeatedly presented with studies that show that hunting actually increases car-deer collisions. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, most car-deer collisions happen during hunting season. The Erie Insurance Group, Pennsylvania’s second largest auto insurer, studied the effect that hunting has on car-deer collisions. They discovered that not only did accidents increase during hunting season, but that they increased nearly five-fold on the first day of buck and doe hunting seasons respectively and remained high throughout hunting season. The reason for this is that hunters push the deer out of the woods and into the roads, and frightened and wounded deer run into the roads without caution.

The Commissioners ignored these studies, and now act dumbfounded by their killing program results. And when Keith McGill says that Mt. Lebanon was able to remove more than 100 deer w/o incident in last years archery cull, he seems to be ignoring the fact that their hunting program was the direct cause of three times as many car-deer accidents. So his claim of w/o incident is ridiculous. Mt. Lebanon's hunting program was the direct cause of the tripling of the car-deer accidents, and Mt. Lebanon should be liable for these accidents, and any damages, injuries, and deaths that resulted.