On Tuesday night September 5, 2017 the Forney Council held the second required public hearing to discuss the proposed 2018 Fiscal Year Operating Budget.
Just a few of the interesting highlights within the proposed budget includes:
a decrease in property tax rates
a substantial increase in water and sewer rates
a 7% salary increase for all employees of the Forney Police Department
a 4% merit increase and a 1% cost of living increase for other city employees
an increase of 21.9% in the Utility Fund, of which 82% of that figure is due to major maintenance projects that must be funded for completion in 2018
and a 4.22% increase in the City Councils departmental budget
Newer taxpayers to Forney may not realize that the City Charter "Section 3.03 Compensation" provides for the financial compensation for the elected members of the City Council.
For the past several years the budget has reflected compensation for the mayor and council to be $12,000 annually.
Doing only simple math, taxpayers may estimate how much they have compensated these council members including Forney's longest seated member, Robbie Powers, who has been in the Place 3 council position since May 13, 2006.
The link below to the councils July compensation checks confirms that Mayor Rick Wilson receives a $300 check, Mayor Pro-tem Mary Penn receives a $200 check and Council Member’s Cory McGee, Shaun Myers, Robbie Powers, Kevin Moon and David Johnson each receive a $100 check.
Within the operating budget, the Forney City Council is considered and budgeted for as a city department unto itself, and the council thus far is not proposing an increase in their compensation package.
In the Fiscal Year 2016 the Council’s Department budget totaled $176,189, in 2017 in raised to $423,873 and it is now proposed to increase to $441,775 in 2018.
Forney taxpayers provide their council a monthly salary, which is calculated per meeting, and they pay for their continued education, travel expenses, business cards and dress shirts. As well as for the catered meals they are provided before each meeting.
The proposed budget for the ‘council department’ also provides a $200,000 “cash on hand” contingency fund which council member’s Myers and Penn recently requested be included.
Proposed 2018 City Council Department Budget (pages 60-61 Council Department)