Not since 1994 has the city had to consider cutting services or
laying off employees to balance the budget.
But a soft economy has dictated otherwise.
“This is a difficult budget year,” said Derek Hanway, the city’s
financial services director. “It’s been awhile since we’ve had to
face some reductions.”
As city department heads labor to close the gap on an anticipated
$9.5-million deficit for fiscal year 2003-04, the City Council
continues to ponder ways to cut the budget by 10%, Hanway said.
The council has until June 30 to adopt the estimated $405-million
Under proposals discussed this week during the first of three
budget study sessions at City Hall, as many as 10 city employees
could lose their jobs and another two dozen vacant positions could be
eliminated all together, Hanway said, adding that a proposed hiring
freeze could affect nearly 20 more jobs.
Additionally, some non-core services will likely be reduced, and
residents could pay 10 cents more per day in library fines, $2 more
to go swimming and $10 more to adopt a pet.
“Based on what is being proposed, I anticipate that the average
citizen will see minimal or no changes [to city services],”
Councilman Jef Vander Borght said following Tuesday’s study session.
The Northwest Library branch could eliminate its Saturday and
Tuesday evening hours as part of a plan to reduce services.
“There’s no way that you can eliminate positions and maintain the
types of services that we’re offering,” Library Services Director
Sharon Cohen said during the study session.
To counter reductions in revenue caused in part by low interest
rates, high insurance rates and declining transit occupancy taxes,
the Burbank Police Department is planning to increase film permit
fees from $200 to $300. That figure would still be about half of what
the city of Glendale charges, officials said.
The community development department, meanwhile, is proposing to
increase developer fees by $1,500, from $2,500 to $4,000, a rate that
is competitive with surrounding cities, Director Sue Georgino said.
The proposed budget cuts, however, do not address potential cuts
made by the state, which is dealing with a budget shortfall of about
$35 billion, Hanway said.