Budget Study Session Tuesday
If you think this is an echo it's because, for the second week in a row, there will be a Budget Study Session. On Tuesday, May 31st, the Costa Mesa City Council will hold the next in its series of meetings/study sessions on the Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Budget.
The Preliminary Operating and Capital Improvement Budget was distributed last week and is available for review on the City web site. There's a link right on the front of the Home Page, HERE.
EXPENDITURES TO BE THE FOCUS TUESDAY
Last Tuesday the Revenue side of the budget was discussed before nearly 60 interested residents and staffers. I anticipate Tuesday's meeting, which starts at 4:30 p.m., will be more heavily attended because this segment will deal with the Expenditures side of the ledger - the side that will end up with blood on the walls from the slashing of staff and services. This document will NOT include the impact of any possible outsourcing overtures. None of those decisions are expected to be made until the fall, when the initial budget will have been in place for a quarter of the budget year.
LEGAL BUDGET UP A THIRD
As I went through the budget quickly I found some interesting numbers. For example, the budget for the City Attorney's office - the contract with Jones & Mayer - will increase by 33% for the new fiscal year, from $530,550 to $703,000. That one should get your attention and give you a pretty good idea of what the City is thinking about the litigation in our future.
STREETS OR STAFF?
The City Council has required that this budget include more money for Capital Improvements - roads and other infrastructure. In simple terms, it's likely that we will see more jobs lost in order to pave streets.
POLICE DEPARTMENT LEVEL, BUT...
The Police Department budget remains basically level, but reflects the loss of several full time positions and the folding-in of officers previously assigned to the ABLE program.
EVERY TUESDAY UNTIL JULY 1
It is anticipated that meetings will continue to be held every Tuesday until July 1st - the drop dead date for a balanced budget to be approved by the City Council. Next week there will be the regularly- scheduled council meeting, as there will be on the 21st. On the 14th there will be another study session which will almost certainly involve the finishing touches on the budget. If the council does not approve a budget on June 21st, there remains the possibility of a special meeting on the 28th to accomplish that goal.
Labels: Budget Woes