16 ways to save money

It’s crunch time this week in Oberursel, as first the finance committee and then the town council meet to approve the budget for 2013a budget with a deficit.

Over the past few weeks, the politicians in the town have been challenged to come up with ideas on how to save money as part of the “Haushaltssicherungskonzept” (the concept to balance the books), and there have also been discussions going on both on the town’s website and in Facebook.  These can have far-reaching consequences for the coming years in the town, as some savings may not be possible straight away.

So what suggestions did the politicians come up with?  Well yesterday the OBG – a local political group – put forward their suggestions, and in total they are proposing 26 amendments to the budgets, which I have grouped together here in 16 different points.

They are: [Read more…]

How Oberursel plans to reduce its deficit in the coming years

At the town council meeting last week the town’s treasurer (Stadtkämmerer) , Thorsten Schorr, held what is best described as his budget speech (“Haushaltsrede”) for the coming year. Technically the budget (“Haushalt”) is not actually decided yet and will be discussed by the finance committee in their next sitting so that the council can vote on it in November, but the speech outlined where costs are increasing, where cuts will need to be made, and how the town intends to reduce their deficit by 2018.

The full version of the speech and the draft version of the budget will be available as PDF downloads on the town’s website this week, but obviously in German.

So here is a summary of the main points in English.

The speech started with the first potential saving – the members of the council and the executive will only receive printed copies of the 1060 page budget if they actually request it, otherwise they too will be receiving a PDF version. This should not be a problem, as they have all been issued with iPads, and with other official documents moving to this form as well the investment costs for the iPads will apparently be more than outweighed by the saving in printing costs.

Then came the bad news. [Read more…]

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