Pasadena : Controversial Budget, Fiscal Plan Approved

Pasadena's 1985-86 operating budget of $71.5 million and a $265.7-million capital improvement plan were approved by the Board of City Directors this week after weeks of bitter controversy.

Although the two are separate documents, they were considered concurrently and public outcry has spilled over onto both since their presentation to the board last month.

Bowing to that controversy, City Director Jo Heckman abstained from voting on the capital improvement project, which contained a provision for a citywide assessment district that has prompted hundreds of angry Pasadena residents to call for a reorganization of city government. City officials stressed during Tuesday's board meeting that approval of the capital improvement project would not hinder deliberations over the assessment district. City directors are expected to decide Tuesday whether to go ahead with the district or drop it entirely.

A series of proposed budget cuts eliminating several city services, including the Health Department and paramedics, were not included in the operating budget, but city directors said they are still considering eliminating some or all of the services. Director John Crowley said Tuesday that the budget was a "fluid document" which would face "major amendments" over the next year.

The board unanmously voted to approve the operating budget and voted 4 to 0, with Heckman abstaining, on the capital improvement project. Director Bill Thomson was not present.

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