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Issues and Voices that Matter August 11, 2011

City of Oviedo Budget – 2012

City of Oviedo Budget – 2012 (photo & graphic - CMF Public Media)Late summer is the time each year for most cities to prepare and propose their annual revenue and expense budgets for elected representatives and taxpayers to review and, eventually approve. The summer of 2011 is no different for Bob Bentkofsky, assistant city manager and budget director for the City of Oviedo, Florida. He leads you and me through the proposed budget. It’s proposed to be approved by city council in late September, with the council’s first hearing set for Thursday, September 8 at 6:30pm at city hall. Feature length – 26:10


(Produced, reported and edited by Stephen McKenney Steck)

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In his role as assistant city manager and budget director, Bentkofsky is the number 2 staffer on the city’s leadership roster and the go-to-guy for all things “budget.” It’s a responsibility he’s had for the past 7 years with the city.

In companion podcasts, CMF Public Media presents a review of the budgets for two other cities — hear Winter Springs’ mayor, Charles Lacey, and Sanford’s interim city manager, Tom George, step up to that task.

Oviedo is one of seven cities in Seminole County, each going through this same budget proposal and reviews process. The city claims a population of about 34,000 residents and a budget of about $62 million dollars. Coupled with its “old Florida” heritage, the city is ranked by several credible and nationwide sources in top-10-places-to-live categories. Yet, like almost all government jurisdictions, the city has been challenged by the economy and its budget reflects those stresses.

In this interview with Bentkofsky, he responds to questions about why, in boom-times, the city did not choose to function with less — like they do now. He addresses proposed expense reduction initiatives such as outsourcing and staff cutbacks as a result of certain efficiencies. He explains proposed compensation, pensions and revenue declines. And Bentkofsky offers a helpful review about the city’s revenue sources, the process for public notice and citizen input, the use of reserve funds and what various funds comprise the overall budget.

In the 67-minute interview posted below, Bentkofsky offers additional comments about borrowing… the 1-cent sales tax extension and what it would fund… property tax delinquency… his perspective on the economy going forward… how the budget can be amended… reserve funds… budget presentation awards… and reveals who manages the budget in his family.

Additional feature Information

Robert Bentkofsky, assistant city manager and budget director, city of Oviedo (photo - CMF Public Media)
Robert Bentkofsky
assistant city manager and budget director, city of Oviedo

web | bio
Proposed Budget Document (on-line)

Links to other podcasts produced by CMF Public Media featuring city budgets

Extended Interview & Pictures

Click on the picture(s) to enlarge.
Robert Bentkofsky, assistant city manager and budget director, city of Oviedo (photo - CMF Public Media)
Robert Bentkofsky, assistant city manager and budget director, city of Oviedo, FL with Stephen McKenney Steck
Extended interview (1:07:49)

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Robert Bentkofsky, assistant city manager and budget director, city of Oviedo, after interview (photo - CMF Public Media) Robert Bentkofsky, assistant city manager and budget director, city of Oviedo (photo - CMF Public Media) Robert Bentkofsky, assistant city manager and budget director, city of Oviedo (photo - CMF Public Media) Robert Bentkofsky, assistant city manager and budget director, city of Oviedo (photo - CMF Public Media)

2 Responses to “City of Oviedo Budget – 2012”

  1. Lana Parker says:

    I disagree with Mr. Bentkofsky when he says “the average citizen would not notice a change in quality of service if the Oviedo Communications Center was contracted out to the Sheriffs office”. I believe that the familiarity these employees have with the City and its citizens will decrease greatly if asking for help goes to Sheriffs office, as well as the length of time on the calls if they are handled by an employee who generally is unfamiliar with where locations in our city are. And what will happen when I walk into the police station for help as I have done several times over the years I have lived here? will the doors be locked at night and on weekends and people turned away?? I for one would much rather have the millage rate increased and pay slightly higher taxes to assure my family’s safety and well being and to keep our “service level” what it has been in previous years.

  2. Archie Leach says:

    As is common with most elected and appointed politicians, Mr. Bentkofsky can not see the forest for the trees. This is unfortunately, the general tenor of the nation’s views on our government and proposals such as Mr. Bentkofsky’s only highlights the general view of their ineptness. It is almost frightening that these officials do not appreciate the fact that our public service, police, fire and communications department are the most vital and integral parts of our city. These are the people the citizens of Oviedo can count on in times of need. Frankly, when I’m driving thru the city and see a police car, I know who they are. I also know that they were dispatched to a location by someone who knows my city, not someone who has to refer to a map on the wall because they cannot tell the difference between a main street in Oviedo from a sidestreet. Every second counts and I for one value each and every second if my life, or the life of one of my loved ones hung in the balance because a county employee could not figure out my location. Are you Mr. Bentkofsky willing to take that risk with the citizens of Oviedo? That’s an awfully big responsibilty you will shoulder and I am certain the city would potentially face many lawsuits for lack of response time. I feel that locally run services are worth the price and anything short of that is taking the citizen’s of Oviedo’s lives into your hands. I would much rather pay to have a local dispatch and communications department serving me than employees of an extremely large county-run governmental organization.

    If you Mr. Bentkofsky, feel having a local communications department who knows the city backwards and forward and can assist our police and fire departments in a split second with critical information to aide them in locating an accident, fire, or perhaps a burglary or shooting victim is not crucial, necessary or helpful, can we ship your job as Assistant City Manager and Budget “Guru” to Seminole County as well? If you think that county run government is so much more cost effective in saving the city money by disbanding a critical part of the infrastructure, I believe you should offer your job as the first to go. We could use your job as the litmus test. Afterall, we have a City Manager- you are merely the “Assistant” City Manager, and frankly, who needs two city managers? Can’t one do the job? Let the county take over your position and if the county is better able to assist in running the city and balancing the budget and is able to save money by alleviating your salary from the city budget, then I will rethink my position on letting our other local services go. If you are quite sure the city will save money by relinquisghing vital services, I think you should lead by example. I imagine it doesn’t seem like such a great idea to you now does it Mr. Bentkofsky?

    I hope I have pointed out the shortsightedness and lack of judgment in your attempt to cut this line item (communications department services) from the city’s budget. This is nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to an issue that plaqgues the entire country. Whether its the government, federal, state, county or city, or whether it is average citizens, we are all facing the realization that we need to live within our means. What it doesn’t mean is that we should disband vital infrastructure and ship it out. Do you really believe the cost for these services is worth the risk it poses the city and its citizens? I am certain the county will attempt to actually make money (afterall, they have budgets too), and that the rates, insurance, etc which is being presented now will increase as the length of the contract is evaluated and services are added or dropped from the contract. At a time in this country’s history where we should be shoring up our local economies by making wise decisions, this is an unwise proposal Mr. Bentkofsky, and a complete dud.

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