Saturday: Council workshop to deal with projected $1.8 million deficit

February 04, 2011
Santa Paula City Council

There will be a budget workshop Saturday morning as the city scrambles to deal with a looming projected $1.8 million shortfall.

The February 5 workshop will start at 8 a.m. at City Hall Council Chambers, 970 E. Ventura Street. The informal session will not be televised, and the council will not be making any budget decisions.

According to City Manager Jaime Fontes, “The purpose of Saturday’s Budget Update is to again update the City Council as to the current state of the budget and to identify the immediate options for closing an approximately $1.8 million dollar shortfall that will likely occur by the end of this fiscal year if no action is taken.” Fontes said the process would include the council reviewing “immediate options for closing the shortfall” by the end of the fiscal year.

The options include those involving individual departments and classes of employees, while “Some apply to issues that have across the board applicability. Some involve the levels of services provided to the public.” Fontes said, “Options that have long-term applicability such as possible rate adjustments for future budgets will also be considered,” although the issue of whether or not the city should contract out residential solid waste disposal services will not be an option on the table Saturday, as “it is the subject of separate study.”

The council had a long session last week to address the feasibility of franchising trash, a session that brought more concerns and questions from the increasingly edgy council. The council was supposed to decide the solid waste division issue at Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting.

Fontes said at Saturday’s workshop “The council may choose to proceed with some options, proceed in a qualified manner with other information being provided to it first, or terminate consideration of certain options. The effort,” he added, “is designed to identify and narrow down the options by which this council will close the immediate budget shortfall, as well as address the need for the city’s long term sustainability.”

For more information contact Deputy City Clerk Peggy Higgins, 933-4208.

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