Did you read Adam Beam's story this morning?
Taxpayers will have to cover the deficit from the city’s rainy day fund — which could have been avoided had the city adjusted its employee health insurance plans two years ago to cover rising costs, Deputy Finance Director Bill Ellis said.
But two years ago, the city’s finance department was in such disarray that city officials did not realize they were spending millions of dollars more than they had budgeted for health care.
The city spent $18 million over budget from the fiscal years 2005 to 2007. In 2008, which is still being audited, Ellis estimates the city spent more than $8 million over budget for health insurance.
The sin wasn't spending more than projected on health care. Everybody's had that happen year after year, in the private and public sectors. The sin was NOT KNOWING the city was overspending on health care, and not reflecting that in subsequent budgets, or in terms of requiring a contribution from employees. (And note I didn't say an INCREASE in the contribution from employees — Adam also notes that most employees pay nothing for coverage: "Single employees with no dependents — who make up the majority of the city’s work force — don’t pay for their health insurance.")
Add to this the overview Adam did over the weekend of what we know so far of how messed up the city has been under Charles Austin and under this council. And you may then see why we gave Austin a failing grade on his evaluation (our eval, since the council couldn't seem to get one together), and the council a failing grade on supervising him, and called yet again for a system of government that the voters can hold to account.