September 15, the City Council unanimously adopted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Budget, which takes effect October 1st and which preserves and funds critical government services. I would like to thank Mayor Garcia, my fellow Budget Oversight Committee (BOC) members – Vice Mayor Lowenthal and Councilwoman Price – and the rest of my Council colleagues along with the dedicated City staff and management team for their measured approach and financial prudence.
Notably, the BOC supported the Mayor’s budget recommendations along with additional infrastructure spending, for improvements to streets, sidewalks, parks, etc., in the amount of $2.66 million, to be divided among the nine council districts through one-time funding sources.
The approved $2.7 billion budget maintains necessary public safety initiatives and staffing levels; continues to address improvements to the City’s transportation network; prioritizes innovative and efficient service delivery; and enhances economic and property development that creates a vibrant workforce and diversified revenue base for the years ahead.
Yet, as CalPERS rates continue to increase, employee benefit costs outpace inflation, expiring employee agreements come up for renewal, and oil prices and production drop, we are facing a projected deficit of $15.3 million in FY 2017 and FY 2018. Tough decisions are ahead and will require a collective effort to find ways to keep our neighborhoods safe and clean.
Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s budget process and who provided valuable input, feedback and recommendations on how we can build a brighter tomorrow through responsible governance and fiscal discipline.