Jim Steinberg: Unrestricted Reserves
October 9, 2007
Citizens of Steamboat Springs rejoice! We now have the means to celebrate freedom from further bond issues, freedom from increased or extended sales taxes, and freedom from any fee increases. Let us praise our great interim city finance director, Mr. Bob Litzau, for our new Steamboat Springs Doctrine of Unrestricted Reserves! Let us consider all the property that the city of Steamboat Springs owns and all the buildings that sit on that land, and all the vehicles owned by the city. They all add up to more than $85 million (2005 city budget, page 20), a staggeringly enormous start to our city’s “Unrestricted Reserves.” Add to this our unrestricted cash of more than $18 million and we are rolling in “Unrestricted Reserves.”
With all of these “Unrestricted Reserves,” the city will never have to issue another bond. The city will never have to again raise fees for anything because the city has “Unrestricted Reserves.” With such copious and abundant “Unrestricted Reserves,” our city now has the ability to provide ample employee housing and proceed to build a fabulous new rec center without even considering a bond issue – all because our city has plentiful “Unrestricted Reserves.” The city can now also solve the traffic problem on Lincoln Avenue because of our “Unrestricted Reserves.”
We are grateful beyond words for the lesson our city has taught us about how to use our “Unrestricted Reserves” to fund all our financial needs. We look forward to seeing our city’s exemplary leadership of using “Unrestricted Reserves” to fund its activities instead of asking the financially challenged citizens of Steamboat Springs to support any of these plans. We cannot thank you enough, city of Steamboat Springs, for removing the necessity of having to vote for a bond issue or an extension of this or that part of the sales tax. Now we understand that “Unrestricted Reserves” are the way to go. If you’ve got ’em, use ’em.
To the ignorant and uninformed, this new philosophy may sound like a recipe for financial disaster, but once one understands the true purpose of “Unrestricted Reserves,” it is all so simple. The city’s got ’em, so the city can use ’em – more than $103 million (unrestricted assets plus net capital assets equals unrestricted reserves, according to our newly announced doctrine and figures from a financial report on the city’s Web site). A lot of us were not aware how financially strong the city is. It would be a bad move not to look at the overall financial position – after all, reserves count just as much as anything else. Citizens rejoice! We’re in luck! We’ll get the perks without paying an extra dime. Let’s hear it for “Unrestricted Reserves.”