Lake Oswego Citizens Action League (LOCAL) is reporting the number of people employed by the City of Lake Oswego increased rapidly during prior administrations (from 2004 to 2012). The increase was faster than the population grew.
When Mayor Studebaker and the new City Council took office in January 2013, they had a City staff that totaled almost 362 employees. However, with a focus on fiscal responsibility, employees have declined to 350 for the current year. The Budget Committee is looking for further reduction.
Despite these reductions, personnel costs are up 16% in the last five years; yet Full Time Equivalent employees are down two percent. Why is that....
Lake Oswego Has Much More Staff Than Other Comparable Cities.
Look at the number of employees per one thousand population. At 9.39, Lake Oswego is 54 percent above the average! While there are some differences in services provided among the cities, Lake Oswego is certainly costing its citizens a lot more than other cities.
Staff Costs are the Primary Use of Citizen's Tax Dollars.
These staff levels cost all of our tax dollars! Yes, only fees for water and other things allow the City to make up the difference.
The current Council has, since 2013, begun the task of reducing City costs. If these important trends are to continue, we must elect fiscally responsible people to the Council this year. The Council can then continue to deal with City cost issues and work to hold our taxes down.
Staff and city services are important but so is careful spending of our tax dollars.