Council member Ward 1
Working for a City that delivers first class city services

Preserving U City Values
(link to overview of Capital Improvement and Park tax funds)
I have been going over the budget, talking to staff and listening to constituents.  My
conclusion is that there is not a lot of extra money for anything.

Our total budget, now separated into 3 separate funds has about 26.5 million of revenue and
an equal amount of spending.

When I started on Council in 2010, the then City manager presented a budget with $27.6
million in spending and a deficit of $1.3 million proposed for FY 2011.  With a new City
manager in August of 2010, the FY 2011 budget actually spent only $25.8 million.  Efficient
practices and management reorganization have allowed  the City to avoid increased
spending while maintaining city services  with some enhancements including  5 more police
officers in the 2016 budget compared to 2009 and street sweeping everywhere in the city.  
Cost cutting has been an ongoing effort and covers 2 City managers as the number of
employees has decreased from 314 in 2005 to 266 in this budget.

So we have successfully cut costs and built up a small reserve.  We stopped the bleeding,
but somehow the message was mis-communicated.  We do not have unlimited funds.  
Revenue is flat.  We have to clearly explain to our constituents that budget pressure could
continue for years.

In more detail, there are 3 budget funds.  This resolution is about the General Fund
The General fund has $23.5 million of revenue and almost an identical amount in expenses.  
Even small cuts cause controversy, as everyone tries to save their favorite program.  
However, even the most controversial cuts save about $100,000 or barely enough to pave
800 feet of street.  

Money from the Park tax fund and Capital Improvement tax fund cannot be transferred to
the General Revenue fund.  It also needs to be clearly stated that even with passage of the
bond issues, the general fund would not have received any additional money.

Council’s job is to help shape and approve a budget.
Another part of my job is to help explain to constituents the realities of our budget situation
and soon I will be inviting people to participate in meetings to discuss the FY 2017 budget.