Boyertown And Upper Perk Teachers Vote For Wage Freeze

The Boyertown and Upper Perk teachers have agreed to a wage free to help both districts plug their budget deficits.  The savings realized will be in the millions of dollars!

Boyertown has a $6.5 million budget deficit and Upper Perkiomen has a $1.5 million deficit.  Boyertown teachers agreed to forgo raises for this year and next year.  This will save the district about $3 million each year. 

Upper Perkiomen teachers approved a wage freeze for the 2012-2013 school year.  This should save the Upper Perk nearly $500,000 dollars.

Pottstown administrators have agree to a wage freeze but we are still waiting to see what direction the contract negotiations will take with the teacher’s union.

City Of York Mulling Fire Company Regionalization Option

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

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The City of York, PA has four fire stations and a staff of 67 firefighters.  However, like all municipalities, York is looking at ways to cut costs.  Kim Bracey, York’s Mayor, said she will not close/merge any fire stations or cut staff if it will cut response time.  However, Mayor Bracey said the Fire Committee is looking into options like regionalization and cooperative agreements with other fire services organizations, including volunteers.

Emergency services costs are a big-ticket budget item and Bracey said city government needs to be responsible stewards of the taxpayer’s money.  If working together as a regional fire department can achieve the same high-quality results, at a lower cost, that option needs to be explored.  It has worked for many police departments.  York County already has regional police departments.  The Fire Committee will present their fire/EMS modernization plan to the public on April 5th.

The City of York has 43,718 residents (2010 census) and a land area of 5.20 square miles.  Mayor Bracey was the city’s Community Development Director before being elected mayor.

City Of Reading Buys iPads For Some Employees

iPad wordmark.

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An interesting article from the Central Pennsylvania Business Journal about Reading buying 11 iPads for some city employees as a cost saving measure.  Make sure to read the comments.  I suppose this would be considered a one time investment and would pay for itself over time.

http://www.centralpennbusiness.com/index.php?showpage=bloglists&url=thegadgetcube/?p=529

City Of Harrisburg Switching To Dauphin County Police Dispatch Services

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

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Mayor Linda Thompson announced that the City of Harrisburg will move their emergency police dispatching to Dauphin County.  Dauphin County has been courting Harrisburg for months now trying to get the city to commit to a switch.

If all goes well, it will take Dauphin County about six months to ramp up before the switch.  The county feels this transition of services can be accomplished seamlessly.

Fortunately, Dauphin County Commissioners included money in their 2011 budget in the event Harrisburg decided to use the county dispatch services.

Harrisburg officials feel they can save an estimated $400,000 a year if they make this change.

Montgomery County has been slowly taking over these services for many municipalities in our area.  Centralization of services usually makes sense from a cost saving perspective.

Update!  And informed reader has supplied this information about Montgomery County dispatch centralization:

There are currently seven departments who have not made the switch: Abington, Lower Merion, Narberth, Upper Merion, Lower Providence, Upper Dublin and Pottstown.  Horsham and Montgomery are planning to switch in the next couple weeks.
 
Lower Providence did switch but was unhappy with the results and resumed their own operations

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Reviewing The Consolidation Of District Judge Positions

Cash strapped Pennsylvania is compiling data on consolidation of the District Judge positions in the Commonwealth.  A District Judge makes $80,927 per year.  For example, in Lackawanna County there are 11 District Judges.  Is this too many?

There are vacancies in a number of counties and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has asked every county to review these vacancies to see if any of the positons can be eliminated.