The Oxnard City Council will consider several personnel and program cuts to avoid a projected $2.8-million deficit when it begins final adoption today of its $61.7-million budget.
The 470-page budget will be considered during five special City Council sessions starting at 7:30 tonight and continuing for the next two days. On Wednesday and Thursday the council will meet at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers.
The council will begin today by adopting its capital improvements budget and follow by considering recommended personnel cuts, according to a city report.
City officials said balancing this year’s budget will be especially difficult, in part because the council has said it will not use its reserve funds. For the past three years the city has dipped into its reserves, reducing the amount of funds from $9 million to $4 million.
The city suffered another financial blow last week when voters overwhelmingly rejected a 5% utility tax increase that was designed to solve the city’s financial crisis by generating $5 million annually.
City Manager David Mora has recommended eliminating 64 positions--including 16 police officers and eight firefighters--to balance next year’s budget. He also recommended closure of the Carnegie Art Museum, elimination of Sunday library hours and the cancellation of the Community Center Youth Recreation Program.
Residents and community groups are expected to lobby the council to keep their favorite programs off the budget chopping blocks.
While city officials have said the financial crisis is due to unforeseen expenditures, critics accuse city officials of causing the fiscal woes through mismanagement and corruption.