For the past two months, the City Council has wrestled with ways
to overcome a projected $8-million budget deficit and bring revenues
in line with expenditures.
On Tuesday, the council will consider adopting a $580-million
spending plan that includes a variety of strategies, transfers and
expense reductions designed to balance the budget.
“At some time you have to make your best estimate based on revenue
projections and expenditures,” Councilman Dave Weaver said Friday.
“It has to be balanced. But my guess is we’re going to go in the hole
because revenues are not keeping up with expenditures.”
The council is also proposing a host of fee hikes and new fees to
offset the deficit, and will consider raising fees for building
permits and fire inspection fees at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I don’t want to balance the budget on the backs of residents by
increasing fees,” Councilman Gus Gomez said Friday.
The budget’s nearly $111-million General Fund includes $2 million
for 81 new hires, which Gomez dislikes. “When the state or any public
agency is having budget problems they don’t hire more people,” he
said. “They freeze positions and make due with what they have.”
Although the council is required to adopt the budget by the end of
June, the plan is subject to change, and can be updated as the
council sees fit, officials said.