Official: Campbell may have to shut down
By Jeanne Starmack
The city will have to shut down in November if problems with revenue and spending continue, said a state official.
Paul Marshall, who heads a state commission that oversees the city’s finances because it’s in fiscal emergency, said the city will run out of money in October. At that point, Campbell would be an unincorporated area and would have to seek services for police, fire and roads elsewhere.
“I hope everyone understands, this isn’t the federal government,” Marshall said at a meeting Monday between the oversight commission and Campbell officials. “At some point, you close the doors. It’s very disappointing.”
The commission’s analysis revealed that the city is spending more than it should by this time in the year on salaries and benefits for the fire department, the mayor’s office, the council and the administrator’s office.
Line items are “bad all over,” said Timothy Lintner, a financial supervisor for the city with the state auditor’s office. He added that revenues are significantly down.
Marshall asked Mayor George Krinos what he will do to control spending.
“I have no control over what gets spent,” Krinos replied, adding that the finance director and council control that.
Krinos has come under fire from council members and from the city’s finance director, Sherman Miles, for calling back a laid-off firefighter to help boost a drop in a rating that affects home- owners’ insurance.
There was no money in the 2010 budget for the firefighter.
Krinos is also coming under fire for taking city health benefits in March after planning to give the $16,000 they cost back to the general fund so he could have a full-time secretary.
Council had considered passing a resolution in January that Krinos would forgo the benefits for the secretary’s salary but did not do so after discovering that the salary figure in the resolution was wrong — it said $26,000 instead of $21,000.
Krinos said Monday that he has the right to the benefits since there is no resolution.
Miles said council took Krinos at his word that he would forgo the benefits, so it did not amend and pass the resolution with the correct salary figure.
Miles said it was made clear to Krinos that there was money either for his health benefits or for a full-time secretary.
Only Krinos could lay off the firefighter and the secretary, but council has the power to adjust the secretary’s hours.
Councilwoman Juanita Rich said after the meeting that council will have to discuss making such an adjustment.
Marshall also asked about the status of a financial recovery plan that was supposed to be submitted at the meeting but was not. Krinos, who is supposed to prepare the plan, said after the meeting that there were “extenuating circumstances” and he didn’t have enough time.
Marshall said he wants a plan by the next meeting May 24. He said the city will be able to spend only 85 percent of what it spent last year for every month there isn’t a plan.