North Miami - NMB

North Miami council to hear public comments on city budget

North Miami will hold its first budget hearing Wednesday and will hear the community and City Council’s questions and concerns about the coming fiscal year.

City Manager Aleem Ghany said he is proposing a budget with no cuts in staff or in funding for city departments or services.

Ghany and budget manager Arthur Sorey said they plan to present a $60 million budget to fund the city’s “basic operations” with about $49 million of that going toward water, sewer and other public works services.

Ghany said staff may have to take furlough days, depending on the outcome of labor negotiations.

“We have negotiations with the police union and with the general employees,” Ghany said. “All those things have to be considered when presenting a balanced budget.”

City staff will also consider how to properly fund capital projects and developments across the city, particularly in the downtown area. Ghany said that the city will determine how to fund those projects and the role the community redevelopment agency will factor in to those plans.

Councilman Scott Galvin expressed concerns in June about the budget due to numerous employees leaving the city through an early retirement incentive program. Sorey said that the employees using the program helped the city budget because the city was able to find cheaper replacements.

“It turned out that the ERIP didn’t hurt us. We haven’t seen a negative impact, and it came in exactly how we expected,” Sorey said.

Ghany said the city is also working to sort out its financial management system based on suggestions from the city’s auditing firm earlier this year. The presentation showed that some accounts receivable and liability schedules were received late and had to be changed later in the auditing process.

The firm suggested that the city “determine the appropriate level of financial staffing resources and software application training” going forward.

The city’s budget hearing begins 6 p.m. Wednesday at North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125th St.