I’ve been hearing a lot about certain topics in Shelby Township. I hope to investigate and look into some of them and give my point of view on them. You may not agree, but I value your ideas and input, so comment away and let's see if any idea comes up to resolved this without raising a property tax millage.
One thing repeated to me on the street and in post is that the previous leadership of the Shelby Township Police and Fire Departments developed surpluses in their accounts and the Board of Trustees is doing a shell game to make it look like there is a deficit in the accounts.
Both the Fire Department and The Police Department received new buildings this past couple of years. Both paid for with cash saved up by the department heads but where did that cash come from?
We the taxpayers voted to pay for police and fire protection with a separate millage.
My point of view:
The problem I have is this: The “Police and Fire Pensions” are currently underfunded by over 25 million plus dollars this happened because not enough funds were set aside to fund these pensions by previous leadership. I believe this is where the police and fire fund surplus actually came from, not from prudent saving but from ignoring and not paying one of the biggest bills in both departments.
I believe, as a taxpayer, when I voted to pay for police and fire protection this meant all expenses involved in that protection including legacy cost (pensions). The employees, equipment and building cost are all covered by the special police and fire funds. The employee cost should include each employee’s pension.
Then why is this money coming from our general fund?
The funds to try and balance this pension fund have been coming from the general fund, not the specific funds that we voted for to cover this. General funds are what we use to fund senior programs, parks and rec, our parks, roads, beautification and our entire government including all the other services, except, Police and Fire protection.
Sure there may have been some money saved up in the Police Department for a new building but that money saved was and is being paid out of the general fund towards the pensions.
I believe this is a shell game that needs to stop. You can not claim surplus police funds without including the legacy cost of the police employees. As for now, the police and fire budgets are both in deficit by over 10 million dollars for those legacy cost and who do you think is responsible to pay this?
I would like to note that the current board of trustees has been overfunding the pension fund in an attempt to catch up but the lack of oversight and future planning by previous board of trustee members along with previous leadership of the police and fire departments is going to cause a huge financial drain on taxpayers tomorrow, at a time when taxpayers can’t afford higher property taxes.