Upper Arlington voters have again expressed their support of the work that we do at the City, by passing the 10th Police and Fire Pension Levy on November 2.
Effectively running the City’s finances is a complex undertaking. It entails the ongoing challenge of predicting revenues from numerous sources that can be subject to economy-driven fluctuations, or changes at the state or national level. Using these projections, the City’s Finance Department must develop annual balanced budgets that enable us to provide the excellent City services our community expects and prepare for new projects in a fiscally accountable manner.
The safety services provided by our Police and Fire divisions are among the top amenities that make our community so appealing. The importance of and satisfaction with these services always tops the list in community surveys. We are proud to provide these services at one of the lowest costs per capita when compared to similar Ohio communities. Yet, safety still represents a significant expense for the City—about half of our annual operating budget.
Issue 24 sought to renew an existing Police and Fire Pension Levy. The levy will fund the state-mandated retirement and disability fund for the City’s police and fire personnel, providing the continuation of a predictable, fixed source of income for our safety forces’ pensions. OIne hundred percent of the funds collected for this levy will be dedicated to the Police and Fire Pension Fund. A five-year projection of the City’s responsibility for the Police and Fire Pension indicates that a decrease of approximately 8.25% in the existing .97 mill levy – to .89 mills – will be sufficient to cover this $3.2 million annual expense. This translates to a $2.80 decrease for an annual cost of $31.15 per $100,000 of a home’s value.
The City is recognized as a fiscally responsible public entity, and has received numerous awards that speak to a commitment to the highest standards of accountability. It is the City’s responsibility to spend revenues wisely. In turn, it is the residents’ responsibility to know the issues being presented to them at election time and to cast their vote. We thank you for being informed on Issue 24, and for your vote of confidence.