Archived News Release from 2010
For Immediate Release
Redwood City Budget Includes Cuts to Programs, Services, Staff; New Revenues Identified
Redwood City, CA - July 9, 2010 - At its meeting of June 30th, the City Council of Redwood City agreed on what some Council members described as a “very difficult, painful” budget for fiscal years 2010 – 2012. This decision comes at the end of a long budget preparation cycle, three public meetings, and lengthy deliberations. Final adoption of the budget will take place at the Council’s July 12th meeting.
Faced with a $6.8 million deficit (approximately 8% of the City’s annual general fund budget) the Council had to consider how to make ongoing reductions across the entire City organization. This follows several years of budget deficits and expenditure reductions, putting the City in the position of having to delete nearly three dozen staff positions, in addition to other significant programmatic cuts, in order to balance the budget.
Following the Council’s adjustments to the recommended budget, the total of all general fund expenditure reductions is approximately $6.12 million. With new revenues of about $636,000, this effectively balances the budget as fiscal year 2010-2011 begins. The Council added back 2.5 positions (juvenile specialist, community service officer, half-time child care coordinator), leaving a net reduction of 35.6 positions (out of the City’s current workforce of 565 positions). Since about half of those positions were vacant, the final result will be the loss of up to 15 employees.
The bulk of the budget reductions come directly from those decreases in City staffing (staffing accounts for 80% of all City costs). Other cuts include reductions in overtime funds, operating expenses, supplies, and services, restructuring and increased efficiencies, reductions of in-house services such as telecommunications and other technology, and a voluntary one or two year salary freeze by several employee bargaining units.
Unfortunately, the community is likely to experience service reductions in a number of areas as a result of staff reductions, restructuring, and programmatic cuts:
- Building permit processing and building inspection;
- Fire prevention/fire safety, fire investigations activities, reduced daily staffing and the cutback of one engine company, and increased response times (while still maintaining a response time in keeping with the County-wide standard);
- Library youth program staffing, local history room staffing (potentially to be replaced with volunteer assistance), reduced hours at the Schaberg Library;
- Parks landscape maintenance and custodial services, and parks management services;
- Traffic Unit special enforcement activities, police officer staffing of the PAL program, neighborhood parking enforcement activities, and low priority property crime investigations;
- Street maintenance, storm drain cleaning and related services.
To mitigate these necessary budget cuts, the City Council will approve a number of new revenues, primarily comprised of a 25¢ increase in parking meter rates, and increases in fees for the use of Downtown gated parking facilities, fire inspections, after school sports programs, non-resident enrollment in classes and camps, field use by organized sports, and tree preservation permits. These increased fees are expected to generate about $636,000 in fiscal year 2010-11 and up to $1 million in fiscal year 2011-12. Budget information is available online at www.redwoodcity.org/budget.
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