Due to the significant level of uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting effects on the City's budget situation, quarterly updates are being presented to keep the public informed of possible impacts to the City's financial situation and outlook.
The City has historically taken proactive and strategic steps to ensure the City’s fiscal health and sustainability, including diversifying its revenues, adopting a structurally balanced annual budget, funding long-term needs, and maintaining prudent reserves. These practices have positioned the City to better withstand the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consequently, based on the assumption that Shelter-in-Place restrictions would be lifted by June 30, 2020, the projections included in the Adopted Budget indicate the City could maintain current service levels in Fiscal Year 2020-21 with sufficient revenues to fund operating expenditures, including salary and benefit costs, and other priorities. Notably, unlike in past years, there is a limited amount of funding available for long-term liabilities and strategic reserves and, in an abundance of caution, the City is filling staffing vacancies on a case-by-case basis, prioritizing sworn safety personnel and positions critical to COVID-19 response efforts.
Taking into account the ongoing situation of the global pandemic, development of the Fiscal Year 2020-21 Adopted Budget incorporates the following priority areas:
Essential service delivery and COVID-19 community response efforts, including services for the most vulnerable residents;
Return or recovery of Citywide operations once the Shelter-in-Place order is modified;
Economic development and small business strategy efforts;
Public communications, engagement, and community-building;
Strategic planning for the future, with an emphasis on innovation, efficiency, and operational improvements designed to better serve the community and achieve desired outcomes as we adapt to the crisis and the “next normal.”
The Fiscal Year 2020-21 Annual Budget, Water, Wastewater, and Trash and Recycling Rates, and Various City Fees were presented to the City Council at a public hearing on Tuesday, June 9, 2020, and adopted at the second public hearing on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.
The City’s budget continues to reflect a strong local economy that is stimulating development and significant property tax growth. Most economists still believe the State and regional fundamentals of employment and job growth are strong and that the chance of a recession over the next 24 months is possible but low. Although it is uncertain when the next economic slowdown will occur, based on history, it is highly likely one will occur in the near future. Consequently, the City’s budgetary forecast assumes an economic downturn beginning in Fiscal Year 2020-21 and continuing into Fiscal Year 2021-22. The Adopted Budget document details the City Manager's recommendations for Fiscal Year 2019-20, supplements to reserves, commitment to sustainability, and continuing contributions to the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS).
The Fiscal Year 2019-20 Annual Budget, Water, Wastewater, and Trash and Recycling Rates, and Various City Fees were presented to the City Council at a public hearing on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 and adopted at the second public hearing on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.