OXNARD : Council Cuts Budget Office to Save Money
The Oxnard City Council has begun the arduous task of cutting between $4.5 million and $5 million from the budget by eliminating the management and budget office and cutting a clerical position from the city attorney’s office.
A meeting this week was the first of five hearings scheduled to discuss budget reductions and reassign several personnel positions. The next meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Council members said the city has an unwritten policy of avoiding employee layoffs whenever possible and reducing staff only through attrition.
City Manager Vernon Hazen said the city is projecting a $4.8-million deficit over the next two years, partly due to a depressed economy, and the county’s decisions to divert fines from convicted drunk drivers away from cities and to charge cities a fee for booking criminals into County Jail.
The council discussed savings in the offices of the city manager, city attorney, city clerk and city treasurer. The council decided to eliminate the management and budget office and shift some of the services provided there to the city manager’s office. The office’s annual budget has been about $400,000.
The management and budget director’s position has been vacant since Bill Mayer left Oxnard last year for a position in Northern California. One secretarial position was also eliminated. Four other positions will be absorbed by the city manager’s office.
The council also decided that the city would save money and staff time by replacing the annual budget report with one prepared every other year starting next year, but modified each year.