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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
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FY 2015 Budget Comments

As the City of Alexandria begins the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget development process over the next few months and continues to strategically plan for its future, we would like your input regarding your operating budget and capital improvement program priorities.

To those leaving a comment on this site: Please note that the Office of Management and Budget responds to those commenters asking a direct question, or to correct factually inaccurate postings, only. We will, however, pass all concerns left here onto the City Manager and/or City Council. Thank you for providing your thoughts on the FY 2015 Proposed Budget.

The City of Alexandria encourages public comments on the issues presented on our sites. Please be sure that your comments relate to the topic of the board on which they're posted. Please do not post any comments that attack or threaten another person, misrepresent the source, are obscene or use profanity, give out someone's personal information, promote unlawful discrimination, contain irrelevant references to commercial businesses, are illegal, or duplicate your previous comments on the same board.

The City reserves the right, but assumes no obligation, to remove comments that violate this policy. If you would like to request a City service, please use our Call.Click.Connect. system instead. Information submitted on our sites may be retained or disclosed in accordance with law.
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20 Comments

City Seal

Thank you for your time and consideration in providing the preceding comments. On May 1, the Alexandria City Council voted unanimously to adopt a $636.8 million General Fund Operating Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, which begins July 1, 2014. To learn more about the City’s budget for FY 2015, please visit http://alexandriava.gov/budget.

Budget Office (280) | City Staff | May 14, 2014 - 3:34 PM

Very disturbed to hear that parking meter hours of operation is going to be increased past 5 PM and on weekends as well.

We like to have family and friends over evenings and weekends and this will make a difficult situation even more so.

If more revenue is needed to meet budgetary needs, raise the tax rates.

I reside in the Carlyle Towers in Alexandria.

Larry McLaughlin (446) | User | April 11, 2014 - 10:22 PM

After reading Budget Memo #3, dated March 7, 2014, I cannot believe the City Manger, thinks that $264,598 the cost of the retirees' life insurance for one year is going to break the City's budget.

Also, when I started working for the City in the early 1960's, employees paid a percentage of their salary into their retirement, it was not until the early 1980's the City started paying for our retirement. However, we had a price to pay for this, we had to start working a 40 hour week, instead of 32 hours, with no increase in our salaries. We also, didn't get cost of living increases during the early 1980's.

Again, as a retiree, I am asking the City Council to honor the benifits that was promised to retirees.

B. Allen (429) | User | March 13, 2014 - 3:38 PM

City Seal

Thank you for inquiring with the City of Alexandria’s Office of Management and Budget regarding retiree life insurance policies. Your responses have been received and your feedback is much appreciated. On Friday, March 7, budget memo # 3 was posted on the City’s website that addressed this topic. To view this memo in its entirety, please navigate to the following webpage: http://alexandriava.gov/budget/info/default.aspx?id=76758

Budget Office (280) | City Staff | March 12, 2014 - 5:01 PM

You on city council why do you think it is ok after someone retires to start cutting benefits that the city promised. will you tell people that work for the city today we will give you benefits but when you retire we may need them back. budget cuts 68 people that work for the city may lose their job but 35 new positions will need to be filled. I hope city council will tell new personnel that the benefits we promise today my be gone next budget year. why would anyone come to work in a city every year budget cuts start with personnel and benefits

ronald gochenour (340) | User | March 12, 2014 - 10:11 AM

Regarding the issue of funding for the Alexandria law library: it seems inconceivable that such funding would be reduced or eliminated. Our court system and the access to its library are fundamental to the justice system in Alexandria. Our legal system has always been
held in the highest esteem. The funding is not only necessary but essential.

Ilona E. Grenadier (444) | User | March 11, 2014 - 2:09 PM

I retired with 35 years of service, 32 with the Police Department and my final 3 with the Human Resources Department. Throughout my career I was promised partially City funded Term Life Insurance that would continue into retirement.

On July 1, 2009, a very dark period of time economically, eligibility for life insurance benefits changed for new hires. Employees hired on or after July 1, 2009 are no longer eligible for the life insurance benefit into retirement. This change lead me to believe that employees hired prior to July 1, 2009 were grandfathered.

As recommend by the City, 5 years prior to retiring I met with financial planners to discuss my financial stability into retirement. My estimated monthly retirement benefit and life insurance paid upon my death were relevant to the discussions and decisions made.

Upon my retirement the Human Resources Department presented me (as all retirees) with a document that states my benefit, changes to my benefit between the ages of 65 and 70, the premium that is City funded and the premium I am responsible for.

I recall the contract for life insurance was awarded March 1, 2012 and continues through February 2015. It has been stated that retiree coverage will not change, only who is responsible for paying the premiums changes. Is this in writing from the current vendor? If there is no change to retiree coverage, will the City continue to negotiate comparable retiree premiums with future RFP's?

During the hardest economic times retiree life benefits remained City funded. This is a benefit earned by all employees hired prior to July 1, 2009. Please reconsider this action and keep the promise made to me and others while working for the City.








Susan Story (443) | User | March 10, 2014 - 5:08 AM

I was born, educated and retired from the City of Alexandria after more than 30 years of dedicated service. My employment was not always easy, but I valued the opportunity to serve. As a retiree I am appalled that this government having entered into a contract with me and all other retirees, now proposed to renege on this contract by terminating funding for life insurance benefits for retirees. For some of us, this life insurance is the only life insurance we have and to try to obtain an affordable policy at a retirees age would be extremely costly. I would suggest that the City government honor the contract (Earned Benefits Package) they made to us at the time of retirement. To not continue this funding is so disrespectful and in my opinion a breach of the contract for the years of service we provided! Do not stop funding the life insurance benefits for retirees!

Myra Addison (442) | User | March 9, 2014 - 10:02 PM

I committed 32 years of dedicated service to the City with the Sheriff's Office. I am extremely proud to have done so. I was honored to be a part of what I will always maintain is one of the finest agencies of its type and a City government that treated its employees with respect and value.

But alas it now appears that when your once valued employees have retired, it's "out of sight, out of mind". I can't help but find it somewhat betraying a consideration to remove insurance benefits heretofore "promised" to us is being proposed.

I implore the City to maintain its honor; maintain its commitments; and maintain the trust of all past and current team members. I know financial times are difficult but the "savings" proposed by this proposal pale in comparison to the integrity I have always believed (perhaps naively?), our City held in the most highest regard.

Is the City's honor really worth the 30 pieces of silver to be saved?

John Kapetanis (440) | User | March 9, 2014 - 11:19 AM

I joined the Alexandria Police Dept. in 1975, in part because the City offered its police officers an additional $1,000, paid yearly, for a four-year college degree. This was significant at the time given the starting salary was $11,500.

Four years later, the City abruptly terminated this benefit for incumbents as well as new hires. I will never forget the betrayal, bitterness and anger I felt at the time. This represented a broken promise; a violation of trust. I went on to spend 34 years with the City, retiring as a Deputy Chief with the Police Dept., Chief Deputy with the Sheriff's Office and teaching Criminal Justice at T.C. Williams H.S. I did not use my employment with the City as a stepping stone to enhance my career as many others seem to do. It was my life for 34 years. I would like to think I had a small part in making Alexandria the great city it is today.

You might imagine the disappointment and anger I felt when I realized the City was contemplating yet another broken promise, this time in the form of considering the termination of life insurance benefits for its retirees. Supporting this within the proposed FY 15 budget would be immoral in my judgment. Retirees have fulfilled their commitment to the City; it's now time for City leaders to uphold theirs. A secondary concern of mine is that if this passes, it will represent the proverbial 'camel's nose under the tent'. In others\ words, what will be next? Please do the right thing and take this proposal off the table.

Lenny George (438) | User | March 8, 2014 - 8:53 AM