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City Gets "Good-News" Budget Proposal, But Deficits Loom

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The New City Hall building in downtown Sacramento

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The Sacramento police, fire and parks departments stand to benefit from the new billion-dollar budget proposed by City Manager John Shirey. But the city could face a multi-million dollar deficit next year.

It’s been a while since a Sacramento city manager could say, “This is a good-news budget.”

So John Shirey is suggesting the city council approve multiple new programs and investments, including the replacement of two aging fire stations, and money to maintain the city's new parks and repair existing parks.

Police proposals include bias and use-of-force training programs for police officers; and a "hiring pipeline" to diversify the city's police department.

“We need to have a police force that looks like the faces of our community, and we don’t," Shirey says. "So this is a way for us to recruit people very young in age who we will train and who we eventually hope will become sworn police officers."

“We have some ability to spend more than we have in the way of revenue in any one year. We just can’t continue that for a long time,” Shirey says.

That’s because rising salary and retirement costs are projected to turn the city’s current $5 million surplus into a $6 million deficit over the next year.

The city manager's office will hold several hearings for council members and the public between now and June 9th. That is the date the council will vote on a final budget.

Among Shirey's proposed funding increases:

Police Department
-        Pilot program to purchase and use body cameras
-        Training sessions for officers on bias and sensitivity, and use-of-force
-        Create a hiring pipeline program to bring women and people of color into the department

Fire Department
-        Replace two old fire stations

Parks Department
-        Fund maintenance for newly-created recreation programs and 13 newly-built city parks
-        Rehabilitation projects at existing parks

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob is the Sacramento Region Reporter. He has been at the forefront of the coverage of the Sacramento Kings' saga and the effort to build a new arena in Sacramento. He also covers education, business, environment, and sports stories.   Read Full Bio