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Tough budget times, continued

Submitted by on 1, May 6, 2009 – 5:50 am2 Comments

Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant set the stage Tuesday night for the tough budget times ahead for the city, on the eve of an expected layoff announcement. (And if you missed it because the first 90 minutes or so of the meeting apparently weren’t broadcast on TV or online for some reason, here’s a very brief recap.)

Gallant, who appeared before an audience lined with red-shirted city workers, said the city’s expenses in its general fund – its main operational fund – should barely be covered at the end of this fiscal year, thanks in large part to $4.4 million in midyear cuts the city made.

But she said the budget won’t be balanced next year without some serious changes.

Gallant said the city will only have $6.8 million in general fund cash on hand to pay bills at the June 30 close of this fiscal year – far less than the $12 million it would cost the city to cover its bills for 90 days, a generally accepted period, if all its other revenue sources suddenly dried up.

Members of the City Council were told at their previous meeting that the city doesn’t have the cash on hand that seemed to be o the city’s books in part due to an ongoing failure to properly charge city departments back for their workers compensation costs.

The fund balance amount shown on the city’s books also includes $5.6 million due to the city from other agencies, including the $2.2 million loan the city gave to Alameda Municipal Power to help fund completion of a telecommunications construction project and another $2 million loan to the Community Improvement Commission, which is part of the city’s redevelopment agency.

The performance of the city’s other funds was mixed, though none but the fund that holds the city’s worker’s compensation program was in the red. (The Planning & Building Department, for example – which is separate from the city’s general fund – showed expenses that were close to $1 million higher than the revenue it had brought in.)

Anyway, the word is that we’re getting a list of the positions to be cut today, so I’m sure there will be more to come. Stay tuned.


  • Former Island Reside says:

    Sounds like the traditional sponsor Alameda Power & Telecom (now called Alameda Municapl Power) can no longer support the annual mayor's forth of July parade as they basically defaulted on their telecom bonds.

    Would the city also go along and cancell the parade given all the other city incurred expenses?

  • RM says:

    Looking back, it'd be very interesting to see how the (re)development of the cineplex and garage affected the city's bank accounts.

    Looking forward, how can we expect the mayor, city council members and city staff to understand the Sun Cal/D.E. Shaw's redevelopment proposal for the NAS? It's like trying to nail jello to a tree.

    Their initiative/plan for the NAS is sooo complex–and funded by an opaque (that meets non transparent) global hedge fund.

    Last night, the mayor made at least two references to the meeting's large television audience!

    So what's up with it not being broadcast???

    The next city council meeting (Tuesday,May 19, 7:30 p.m.) will be the one to watch. Since we can't trust that it'll be broadcast, the place to be will be right there in the council chambers, third floor of city hall.

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