Summary of 2022 Budget Bad Decisions
The extreme growth in the Art Gallery’s budget of 77.3% over the past four years is alarming. The fact that this budget is not visible in the city’s Audited Financials is troubling. Equally troubling is the one million dollar total 2022 budget increase in only five city departments. Again neither of these departmental budgets are visible in the city’s Audited Financials making it impossible for taxpayers to monitor how their tax dollars are being spent at the department level. Whether we use the budgets at Annex B or the slightly lower budgets shown in the Tally Sheet at Annex E, these are astronomical double-digit budget increases.
It is not obvious what changed between 2021 and 2022 for the five departments with excessive growth. From my experience this is actually quite typical in public institutions without effective financial oversight. I’m confident if you were to pick any budget year at random over the last 20 years you will find very similar unsubstantiated budget increases.
What is not typical are accounting errors observed in the Art Gallery’s 2022 budget statement. This suggests the need for an independent audit to both identify other errors and to inform taxpayers how the Art Gallery has been spending their money over the past five years of rapid expense growth.