Ruiz says this year’s budget should sound familiar, considering most of it revolves around the hot topic of the proposed city service fee. It’s a conversation that’s been buzzing for months now.
Ruiz says this future budget reflects a lot on the past. He says over the past four years the city cut spending from top to bottom, but challenges carrying over from the recession are still lingering.
“Where we find ourselves this year is cost keeps going up, revenues are going down, so we have another gap to fill in our general fund,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz says that gap totals about $6 million, and the city’s trying to fill it with revenue that could be generated from the proposed service fee. It would pour $5 million into that budget hole if voters approve it.
“If it passes, there’s $5.3 million worth of services, police, fire, homeless, library, pools that will be included in the budget. But if it doesn’t pass, those services will not be included in the budget I present to the budget committee,” Ruiz said.
But since the money isn’t a sure thing, the city has to prepare for both possibilities.
“We’re presenting two different scenarios for budgets, and it’s based on wether or not the proposed city fee passes,” Ruiz said.
Because the fee has been widely discussed over the past few months, Ruiz doesn’t think either of the proposed budgets come as much of a surprise.
“Now it’s really up to the community to choose to maintain these services at this time, or we choose not to, and then we’ll move forward. We’re required to balance our budget, so we’ll do that,” Ruiz said.
For a closer look at both versions of the budget, click here.