Russ Branson is the Assistant City Manager and Treasurer. He says the $429 million budget is similar to last year’s with few changes. He says the city has reduced costs in several areas including employee contributions to the California Public Employee Retirement System.
“We’ve also been in the process of negotiating with all of our unions to have employees pay their share of PERS. So, we’ve done that with management, with our miscellaneous employees, with fire. The council had to impose terms and conditions –had to impose that on the police.”
The proposed budget includes a 2-3% increase in utility costs. Some maintenance, fuel and pension costs are also increasing this year.
Branson says revenues are expected to increase from property tax, retail sales, and home construction next year. That should eliminate the structural deficit of $3.2 million the city expects to carry over.