Questions About Assistant City Manager Answers

On Tuesday, September 8th, Assistant City Manager Raul Lavin addressed several issues on The Morning Show with Preston Scott. Research by Tallahassee Reports indicates that answers given by Mr. Lavin on the deferred compensation and the electric utility reserve funds are not consistent with information contained in publicly available documents.

Deferred Compensation

On the deferred compensation, Mr. Lavin said:

“It is my understanding that this came up as part of a charter review commission discussion about commissioner salaries and benefits and after that it was brought forward to the commission in a publicly noticed meeting[…]”

Tallahassee Reports has obtained a copy of the Charter Review Committee Final Report (click here to view – see pages 5-15). A review of the document indicates a discussion on salaries, but does not show any discussion on deferred compensation or benefits.

Furthermore, the agenda item addressing deferred compensation and the minutes of the meeting never cites a recommendation from the Charter Review Committee (click here to view – see pages 1-4) as support for any recommendation in the agenda item.

Reserve Funds

Mr. Lavin, when asked about the electric reserve funds, indicated that the fund had approximately $60 million and the uses of this money is specifically tied to the electric utility.

Tallahassee Reports has reviewed proposed budget items for 2010 and found that the Schedule of Reserve Funds, on page B-12 of the 2010 budget, indicates an Electric Fund Reserve of $108,836,700. This is made up of a Long Term Rate Stabilization Fund of $94 million and a Bond Reserve of $14 million.

With regards to the uses of these funds, on page B-9 of the budget, it states that uses of the Long Term Rate Stabilization are to be determined by the City Commission.

In addition, it should be noted that there is an Electric RR&I (Renewal, Replacement, & Improvement) Fund that currently has a balance of $66 million.

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