In our time of economic uncertainty, recession, and spiraling debt and pension costs, our village board has made the baffling decision to congratulate itself for 0% levy growth. That 0% is solely based upon one year’s expenditure of ARPA funds.
During this budget session, we decided to only think short-term and add $3 million of expenses to the village budget and 9 (8.75) heads to the employment rolls. Most of which went to the (arguably of little value) health department, doubling its headcount and budget.
Unfortunately math is difficult and compounding costs are not taken into account on out-year expenditures. We’ll have to pay for those nine people for a long time. Their salaries, cost-of-living increases, their benefits, and pensions. This is another case of legacy/empire building that only leaves behind a wake of fiscal irresponsibility. As evidence of the past is a great predictor of future performance, we expect this to be the new baseline of village expenses and head counts.
People wonder why our taxes continue to grow and lower income/seniors continue to be pushed out of Oak Park. Look no further than our own village.
Short-term thinking with long-term implications.