Johns Creek City Council approved the fiscal year 2013 budget with a vote of 6-1 at the Sept. 10 council meeting. The vote came after the required public hearings as well as presentations to the council to allow for questions and clarifications from staff.
Johns Creek’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sep. 30. The adopted budget is balanced, said Finance Director Monte Vavra, with an estimated $52,234,432 coming in as revenue.
The majority of the proposed general fund revenues — more than 91.7 percent — are expected to come from property tax, local option sales tax, insurance premium tax, business and occupation tax and franchise fees.
Post 2 Councilmember Brad Raffensperger was the one dissenting vote, saying he is concerned about the money going toward city employee benefits.
“I won’t argue with anyone about our staff. We have a great staff,” he said. “It’s not about the staff. It’s about what we can afford.”
Raffensperger’s discussion in the council meeting was an extension to a conversation in the work session and previous meetings around questions of cost of living adjustments, merit and other employee benefits.
“Right now our budget is virtually flat,” he said in the work session. “What did we have to cut to even afford that?”
City Manger John Kachmar said no cuts were made elsewhere for the benefits, and Mayor Mike Bodker said it was important to look at keeping the cohesive city staff team together to maintain customer service.
Bodker said the staff to citizen ratio in Johns Creek is low compared to neighboring jurisdictions, and the key to keeping customer service up is the team that is already in place.
“I know that if we adjust retirement, if we adjust [the cost of living adjustment] significantly, we will start to drive the very team that collectively together makes that ratio work,” he said.
The budget is available online at www.johnscreekga. gov/services/ finance/budgets.