The City Council will hold the first of two hearings about the proposed 2014-15 budget at their meeting on Tuesday evening, June 3.
The primary discussion will revolve around the potential impact the expiration of the city’s local half-cent sales tax (Measure Q) will have on future service levels.
At their May 13 budget workshop the City Council learned that the local economy has not recovered as quickly as hoped. So when Measure Q, a five-year, temporary revenue source, expires in 2016 the city will need to slash spending by $4 million going forward to keep the budget balanced. The Council also learned there is need for an additional $8-9 million dollars per year to address deferred maintenance of streets, buildings, parks and pay down debts owed to employee pension and retirement health benefit programs.
The staff report points out that Measure Q has protected core city services. During the recession dramatic staffing cuts were made to virtually every city department except for sworn officers – police on the street. If Measure Q expires it will be difficult to find $4 million in permanent cuts in the budget without making cuts in the police department.
To protect core services and address deferred maintenance and debts the Council is considering placing an extension of the half-cent sales tax on this November’s ballot.
The Council will also hear staff presentations on the Sewer Fund, Stormwater Fund and Golf Fund and review new projects proposed for the Capital Improvement Program, Transportation Improvement Program and Information Technology Projects.
The Council will take public testimony and provide any additional direction to staff before the matter is returned to them for final action at their second hearing on June 24.
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