October 11, 2017-The School City of Hammond held a hearing last night on the proposed 2018 budget. This hearing would be of paramount interest to anyone who wanted more information regarding the spending and financial situation of the School City of Hammond. Members of the public were provided an opportunity to speak regarding the budget, as required by law. What they were not provided, were any details regarding the proposed 2018 budget. A handout, posted in its entirety, above, was missing key details regarding the 2018 budget. The documents provided are a series of unintelligible graphs which are probably not even accurate themselves. For instance, you can see on the graph labeled School City of Hammond, Capital Projects Fund that over $2.8M is allocated to a category entitled “utilities.” Zero is listed for things such as insurance and technology. This seems counterintuitive and, without further explanation, is of no use to a potential remonstrator.
This is particularly important as the School City asks the voters to approve a referendum for $180M in additional appropriations. If the School City cannot properly account and report current expenditures, it is extremely difficult to approve additional appropriations.
After the meeting we spoke with a resident who was at the prior school board meeting. We were informed the pages below were in the very same handout at the prior meeting. Included in those documents are numbers for total annual budget for 2016, 2017 and projected for 2018. Those numbers are: $97.8M for 2016, $100.7M for 2017 and $99.7M for 2018. The documents also detailed cost savings of $33M over 5 years which the School City states it has achieved.
Copyright 2017 The Northwest Indiana Gazette