The City Council this week made the first move toward creating a new fiscal year designed to give incoming council members more influence over budgets.
The new year, if approved by the council, will run from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, beginning in 1996. Currently, the fiscal year is July 1 to June 30.
The new fiscal year would allow new council members, who take office July 1, three months to consider a budget before voting. The new schedule would also give city staff more time to react to the state's budget, which has taken city revenue in recent years. The state budget is supposed to be approved by July 1.
Council members Alan Lowenthal and Jenny Oropeza opposed the proposed change, saying it wouldn't give newly elected members enough time to learn the budget and all its issues before voting. The council voted 6 to 2 Tuesday to direct the city attorney to prepare all the documents to make the change. Once the legal documents are ready, which will take about four weeks, the council is expected to make a final decision.