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Fact of the Week 4/16/2020: The Fiscal Monitor is Watching

As You Know: Due to past mismanagement of the College's budget, Palomar College now has a fiscal monitor looking over our shoulder. Mr. Ken Stoppenbrink has said that he is not here to give advice, just observe and offer his opinion. There is a lot to unpack in Mr. Stoppenbrink's first report. He has 21 observations about the state of Palomar's fiscal health. Clearly, we are all concerned about the $11.7 million deficit this year and have identified many areas where we will have ongoing savings that will reduce our deficit significantly next year and in years to come. Here are some of the areas we have identified so far.


There were 41 early notifications of retirement - 18 faculty and 23 staff members. Before backfill, this is a savings of about $5 million. With backfill, it is closer to $3 million.

The Benefits subcommittee is working on options that would save the District up to $3 million in health care costs.

The District will no longer be on the hook for the last early retirement incentive, the "Golden Handshake," saving $1.3 million.

If the COLA of 2.7% that was in the January State Budget remains in the revised budget, an additional $2.5 million of revenue will be available for Palomar College. This is unknown due to COVID-related economic issues of the State.

Palomar College will receive $7.8 million from the Federal Government because of the passage of the CARES Act, half of which is designated to assist students and half can be used by the District to offset loss of revenue and other COVID-related expenses.

There are unknown, but probably significant, savings from utilities and supplies due to classes running only online.

Bottom Line: We understand that all this fiscal uncertainty can add to the current climate of anxiety, but rest assured that PFF is working hard to stabilize the College in ways that minimize the financial pain for everyone who works at Palomar and best protects our students.


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