Brookfield ends 2007 with budgeting surplus

Mayor Jeff Speaker has extended his tax and stash winnings with a 5th straight year of budgeting surpluses. Speaker, elected in 2002, would have first had influence over the 2003 budget year. Since then, the city has taxed residents very closely to the limits state law provides. That strategy has added millions to the piggy bank at city hall.

This year’s budget miss? Close to a million dollars. The budget as amended was to draw down on city reserves by $879,530. Instead, there is an extra pop of $90,677. The exact difference: $970,207.

The reported surpluses under Speaker’s watch:

2003 – $664,000
2004 – $1,200,000
2005 – $1,600,000
2006 – $1,500,000

Since his first budget, Mayor Jeff Speaker has overtaxed Brookfield residents by millions, yet the majority of the Common Council has offered little resistance. Between that and Speaker’s re-election in 2006, it’s easy to conclude that Brookfield is content to pay extra for no return in services.


  1. Ohhhhh, dare I use that word “apathy” again? The disconnected taxpaying voters who sit on their behinds and then complain about their taxes. If one where to compile a list of all the taxes and fees we pay to see just how much government takes from us, and gives us extremely poor results in return, we might wake up. The list would have to be in every mainstream news source once a week forever though. The really bad thing is that every level of government is saying they need more money! Are we crazy to allow this?

    Note: There will not be a Boston Tea Party this
    year as we have not received any RSVPs

  2. “the majority of the Common Council has offered little resistance”

    And the minority? Who are the ones we can depend on?

  3. In a piggy bank! Really, they haven’t ever spent it.

  4. On whom can you depend?

    Jerry Mellone (6); Chris Blackburn (6); Bill Carnell (1)
    Dan Sutton (1); Lisa Mellone (7); Ron Balzer (3)
    Renee Lowerr (7)
    When it’s to his benefit:
    Scott Berg (5)
    Likely to vote with a majority:
    Jim Garvens (3); Bob Reddin (2); Mark Nelson (4)
    Never (unless you are a developer or campaign supporter of the mayor’s):
    Steve Ponto (4); Rick Owen (2); Gary Mahkorn (5)

  5. Much, much more. I’ll dig around for a few numbers.

  6. Cindy, I’m no match for you on the numbers, but it looks to me like there is 10 million sitting in ‘special revenues’ with plans for spending only a couple million. Another 2.5 in the general fund BEYOND the recommend level of reserves.

    Do other cities pile it up this way? Does the quest for AAA bond ratings influence the decision?

  7. No, other cities don’t do it. And – the word from the bonding agent when an Alderman asked was that Brookfield should STOP missing their budgets by as much as they have recently.

    But for all of that talk, when Mayor Jeff Speaker asked the finance committee to increase the percentage that is recommended for rainy day, the finance committee did so. They had to increase the percentage because the amount reserved had pushed higher than the top amount on the recommendation.

  8. El Gato – You mentioned the Boston Tea Party. I once read that the level of taxation that was being protested in those times amounted to a 3% tax today. Now when all taxes and fees are considered we are working on getting to 40%. Please keep using the A word (apathy).

  9. It’s still higher on their bar chart.

  10. Cheri M. says:

    Thinking of a rainy day… homes are being brought city water service (whether we want it or not) and are being charged upwards of $15k for it. Looks like that money is being stockpiled as part of the surplus.

    Please remember that over 50% of our income now goes to the government.

  11. I’ll scan the four pages I copied yesterday at city hall. It will have to wait until after I meet a girlfriend for coffee, though.

    (Yea! Coffee!)

  12. gregg klees says:

    Now that the city has all that surplus money why not spend some on leaf pickup equipment? What else do highway workers do in the fall?

  13. That’s a wonderful idea, Gregg. Then we could outlaw burning. That would be a huge improvement in our quality of life.

  14. I guess you won’t be specializing in respiratory diseases in medical school, Dan.

  15. Cheri M. says:

    I’ll tell you the effects. wheeeeeeeze… wheeeeeeze… wheeeeze… headache – tightchest – dimming vision – where’s the inhaler… can’t reach – feeling faint – m-u-s-t–b-r-e-a-t-h-e-! cough… sputter… gasp… close all the windows… stay inside… can’t work in the garden.

  16. I wonder how ALL of the leaf burning compares to the wild fires in the West annually? Does it contribute to the non-existent global warming in the minds of the environmentalists? Should fire be outlawed?

  17. Well done, Dan. Now I’ve got to get those 4 pages on here!

  18. I’m sorry. From a promise to Kathryn yesterday – about the budget.