This is a slide that was presented by administration during a couple of the sessions in the latest round of budget meetings. When listening to the presentation, the slide was used as an example of how the city spends roughly the same per capita as some other major cities (left chart) and they do it with fewer full time equivalent employees as other cities (right chart). The intent was to communicate what a great job they were doing.
If we take a step back an put this in context though, the graphs could also be saying one of two things:
1- As staff expenditures and payroll are a significant portion of the budget (the exact amount was not communicated) and we have similar total spending as other cities but with fewer staff, it could be extrapolated that we are spending more on our staff than other cities.
2 - If we are not spending more per FTE staff than other cities and we have fewer FTE positions, our expenditures in other areas are excessive in comparison to those other cities.
Either way, there are some questions to be asked and investigated.