MMSD Budget Mystery #5: Mumbo Gumbo in the Kitchen

Let me first say, daring detectives, we dismissed Sam Spade that language larruping lout. So uncouth!
So let’s get back to real sleuthing on the case of Mumbo Gumbo in the Kitchen, the MMSD kitchen to be exact.
The puzzling budget portfolio presented to the Board of Education says, “The Division [Food Service] is reviewing staffing levels for the 2005-2006 school year and expects to reduce the staffing level by approximately 2%.” (page 150)
Now here’s the first of the mysteries in this mumbo gumbo. The budget figures on page 149 (the page right before page 150!) show the Food Service budget RISING from $7,152,021 to $7,398,620, an increase of $246,599 or 3.5%! Mysterious!
Don’t go away. We’re just getting started on these numbing numbers.
“Fringe FTE” increased from $1,004,621 to $1,922,782, or $918,637 or 91.5%, according to the same budget figures. Do the Food Service employees have such a bold bargaining brigade as to wring such a wonderful increase from the MMSD contract negotiators?
The same table shows that “Other Salary and Benefits” leaped from $1,219,053 to $2,180,790, an increase of 78.9%.
What would cause such a dramatic increase in salaries and fringes in light of the professed reduction in staffing level “by approximately 2%?” (The simple solution won’t stump those who paid attention to Mystery #4: Body Count or 1-2-3 FTE.)
“Other expenses” in Food Services (still on page 149) yo-yo around from $2.1 million in 2003-2004, $3.9 million in 2004-2005, and settle at $2,395,600 in 2005-2006.
This is a most curious concoction!
Can anyone tell the okra from the rice in this gurgling mumbo jumbo?