Elmbrook scores a budget miss of $2.2 MILLION

That’s what the article says! Folks, you don’t get a budget miss like that unless you are out to dupe the taxpayers.

Like Brookfield, Elmbrook takes too much in taxes each year because they can under the revenue caps. They stash into special funds so they can spend it on controversial projects where “we already have the money” softens the offense.

Think about it. You are electing board members who think they have more of a right to your money than you do.

And in Brookfield’s case? The tax and stash practices approved by Mayor Jeff Speaker should follow him to next April’s election.

There is absolutely no reason for a taxing jurisdiction to have the fund balance these two possess. To quote a favorite comment I saw recently:

Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!

Comments

  1. If it’s true that $1.5MM of this came from the insurance plan, then I think we are really talking a miss of $700k. On a $83MM+ budget, that’s a variance of <1%. Not all that bad.

    What would really irk me, would be if they spent that $1.5MM. By having that excess, it means it was a way below average year for the insurance plan as far as major claims. That $1.5MM can easily be eroded in a normal year by transplants, premature births, etc…, resulting in a $2.2MM deficit. Health insurance is like gamgling in Vegas, you play the odds and hope you don't get burned. The surplus better be set aside. I had a co-worker whose twin premmies with heart defects burned through nearly $2MM in insurance the first 12 months of their life. That's the same risk/argument that the whole city part-time employee health insurance poses, do we want that risk from a insured part-time employee?

  2. Yes. We’ll talk about it more later, but let me remind you – we wouldn’t be having the discussion at all if either the city or the district used traditional health insurance carriers.

    Plus, I know at least the city has stop loss protection, so it doesn’t seem likely one would actually be dipping into the pool for $2 million, that secondary risk policy would kick in instead.

    It’s a really complicated issue, but it’s important to get the details right if we are to debate it.

    I will concede some of the districts excess may be do to the insurance issue. I can’t recall how many years they’ve self insured, but if it’s more than a couple, the actuarial info they used was way off.

  3. Actually, “the actuarial stuff” is never 100% dead-on. And the District has been on the current health program for at least 5 years–maybe 10 or so.

    So?

    That’s why insurance companies carry “reserves,” just like Elmbrook District. Next year, they may well get hit with a few big claims, or lotsa lotsa lotsa little ones.

    It’s called “prudence.”

  4. Prudence to a point. Sometimes they are just really big reserves.

  5. You know, I’ve decided to soften my stance a bit on this one. It is a big miss, but the more I think about it, the more I decide it was probably the work of one Elmbrook guy that’s not there anymore and a board that doesn’t question stuff like this much.

    I’m not going to call to get details, but I can bet the system is set up such that there’s a stop loss policy involved. It’s still really unusual to have this kind of an excess.

    I’m sure they’ll blow through the money in the next budget.

  6. Now they don’t have to cut funding for extra curriculars, right????

    Dream on…

  7. This link has nothing to do with Elmbrook but I think you’ll find it an interesting read regarding tight school budgets and sports

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/andy_staples/09/16/nosports/index.html