Tonight, the City Council passed a strong and responsible balanced budget for fiscal year 2016. The Council adopted all of my recommendations for the budget, which will take effect October 1, and avoids cuts we have faced for the past decade.
Some of the highlights of the FY16 budget are:
- Funding for police and fire academies
- An additional $2.2 million for gang enforcement and violent crime suppression
- Over $10 million for infrastructure and capital improvements
- Changing street sweeping times to increase parking for residents in impacted areas
- New small business incentives
- Expanded library hours, with a pilot program opening three branches on Sundays
- Funding for improved water conservation in parks, to combat the ongoing drought
- Funding for pension stabilization and debt service to continue reducing our debt and improving fiscal stability
Of course, these are just a few of the important items in the $2.7 billion budget. You can view the entire budget on our city’s website at:
I want to thank the City Council and the City Manager for their prudent, responsible approach to our budget. Their caution has put us in a strong fiscal position.
Next year’s budget will be more challenging, as pension liabilities become due, and because the price of oil is so low. But thanks to the fiscally conservative approach the Council has followed, and thanks to development happening in the city - which is creating increased revenue - we are in a good position to meet that challenge. I am committed to again balancing our budget while still providing the level of service that residents, businesses, and visitors expect from our city.
Thank you to all the residents who shared their ideas and hopes for our city during the budget process. Your participation was very helpful in passing a budget that addresses all the needs of our city.
And, a special thanks to Vice Mayor Lowenthal, Chair of the Budget Oversight Committee, as well as committee members Councilwoman Price and Councilwoman Mungo, for all their hard work on this budget.