THOUSAND OAKS : Council Considering Where to Cut Budget

With just weeks to go before adopting a final budget for the current fiscal year, Thousand Oaks City Council members are mulling over which services could be spared and which should be expanded.

The early winners appear to be the main library and police officers. Losers could include school crossing guards, Fourth of July fireworks and street sweepers.

Clearly something must be cut. If all of the programs are funded, the city would face a deficit of at least $1.5 million.

Several council members have come out in favor of opening the main branch of the Thousand Oaks Library seven days a week. It is now closed on Fridays. Others have advocated adding extra police patrols to the city's $57-million budget.

In a memo distributed to his colleagues on Wednesday, Councilman Andy Fox recommended a series of programs to fund, including a mobile police command center for $60,000 and an economic development department for $150,000. He also suggested the city spend $500,000 to repair sidewalks.

Those programs would be funded in part by a new law that directs car-leasing sales taxes to the city where the leasing transaction took place rather than the address of the customer.

Councilwoman Elois Zeanah, however, said now may not be the time to launch a new department, even if its goal is to attract new business.

"I'm not going to support that," she said. "We already spend about $250,000 a year on economic development."

The council has two public hearings scheduled next month before it adopts its 1995-96 spending plan.

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