City budget update
I’m going to take a quick break from the elections stuff to fill you in some equally important goings-on-about-town, namely the City Council’s efforts to pull a budget together for the next two years. The Council and a bunch of the other agencies it sits as met over the course of about five hours Tuesday night, mostly to deal with the tough budget choices they have to make in the face of a $4 million deficit.
Probably the biggest issue the council discussed was refinancing millions of dollars in debt the city carries on the golf course, the library and the police station. The refinancing would stave off about $1 million in budget cuts over the next two years, but the bill wouldn’t disappear – it’d just come due later. Much of the council came out against this idea, as did City Auditor Kevin Kearney and City Treasurer Kevin Kennedy. The council put off a decision on it until formal budget deliberations.
The council also held off on giving the city’s three business associations their annual grants, again until they start talking about adopting a budget for the Community Improvement Commission (made up of the council), which pays the grants. Specifically, they asked the Greater Alameda Business Association for more detail on how its $12,000 grant is spent (the other two associations, the Park Street Business Association and the West Alameda Business Association, would get $111,146 and $101,146, respectively).
Lastly, the council decided to create a fiscal sustainability committee to help it guide the city through these uncertain fiscal times and beyond. The committee would include Kearney, Kennedy, and as many as nine other people with business or financial expertise and would meet over a six-month period.
The council will talk more budget turkey at a special meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at City Hall. The info is here.