Archived News Release from 2010
For Immediate Release
Redwood City’s Proposed 2010 – 2012 Budget Requires Deep Cuts, Impacts to Services
Redwood City, CA - June 8, 2010 - The City Manager of Redwood City has released his Recommended Budget for 2010 - 2012, which will be discussed by the City Council at two budget meetings, on June 21st and June 28th (with a possible additional meeting on June 30th if needed). The proposed budget is available online at www.redwoodcity.org/budget.
“We’re facing a $6.8 million deficit – roughly 8% of our budget – and this means ongoing reductions across the entire organization, including the loss of up to about 41 positions,” said City Manager Peter Ingram. “There are simply no substantial alternatives in the short term that will responsibly address the projected long‐term structural gap between expenditures and revenues.”
The City depends on property and sales tax revenues, and both of those sources continue to reflect the stagnant local economy. In fact, property tax revenues are projected to decline, while sales tax revenues will increase by only a small increment, and at a slower pace than had been previously projected.
A city is primarily a service organization, and as such nearly 80% of Redwood City’s general fund budget goes to salaries and benefits. Therefore, the City is examining potential long-term solutions to the increasing costs of active employees and retirees. This includes possible new or revised benefits structures that could reduce the City’s current and future costs related to pensions and benefits. Any such potential changes would not have an immediate impact on the City’s budget, but would help to build a more sustainable fiscal foundation for future budgets.
For the near term, the City Council has provided policy direction that the necessary budget reductions should take into consideration the safeguarding of the City’s primary core services of: Public Safety; Fiscal Stability; Legal/Regulatory Compliance; and Public Infrastructure. Additionally, the Council directed that the budget should be balanced without further depletion of the City’s reserve funds, and that new revenues should be pursued.
To accomplish this difficult task during the most serious economic downturn in decades, the City Manager is proposing a reduction in expenditures totaling about $6.4 million, through a combination of programmatic cuts and staff reductions. Unfortunately, it’s likely that community members will experience service reductions in these areas, among others, as a result of staff reductions and restructuring:
- Building permit processing and building inspection
- Fire prevention/fire safety, fire investigations activities, reduced daily staffing/cutback of one engine company, and increased response times
- Library youth program staffing, local history room staffing, reduced hours at the Schaberg Library
- Child care coordination services, parks landscape maintenance and custodial services, and parks management services
- Traffic Unit special enforcement activities; police officer staffing of the PAL program; reduced juvenile specialist/youth and family counseling (diversion of youth will continue); neighborhood parking enforcement activities; and low priority property crime investigations.
- Street maintenance, storm drain cleaning and related services
Methods to generate new revenues in the amount of about $500,000 in fiscal year 2010-11 and $600,000 in fiscal year 2011-12 have been identified in the recommended budget, primarily increases in fees for the use of Downtown gated parking facilities, fire inspections, after school sports programs, non-resident enrollment in classes and camps, and field use by organized sports.
The City Council’s budget discussions on June 21st and 28th (and possibly the 30th) will take place at City Hall, 1017 Middlefield Road, at 7 pm. The community is invited and encouraged to attend and participate in these important discussions.
Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Subscribe to Redwood City’s email newsletter and other City documents by visiting www.redwoodcity.org/egov.