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Posted on: August 6, 2019

8-6-19 City Manager Delivers Proposed Budget to City Council

City Manager Ron Olson delivered his proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Proposed Annual Budget to City Council at tonight’s special meeting. Council received the document along with an overview of its contents before setting September 3 as the date for a budget public hearing.

City Council is scheduled to deliberate the 2,012-page proposal in a series of August and September workshops. Budget adoption is scheduled September 17. The new fiscal year begins October 1, 2019 and ends September 30, 2020.

The City Charter requires that the City Manager develop a proposed annual budget and present it to City Council at least 45 days prior to the start of each fiscal year. City Council must adopt a budget by September 20.

As delivered, the proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Budget is balanced with $209 million in projected expenditures and an overall ending fund balance estimated at 21.6 percent. There are no proposed increases in the tax rate or utility fees in the initial plan.

Development of the budget is a months-long process. Detailed revenue projections created a forecast on which expenditures could be planned. Trend analysis, service demands and strategic issues were all considered. Allocation of resources in the proposal is based on these estimates.

Olson’s presentation to City Council tonight began with an all funds summary that included an overview of the entire enterprise. Charts demonstrating revenues and expenses were provided for fiscal years 2009 and 2019 for comparison with the proposed 2020 numbers. Additional charts show expenditures by category for the same years.

Fund summaries were presented for each of the City’s primary funds including the $86 million General Fund, which makes up 41 percent of the overall budget. It is supported primarily by sales and property taxes and funds essential services like police and fire along with quality of life services like parks and libraries. As proposed, the General Fund is balanced with a projected ending fund balance of 29 percent.

During the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget process, Olson identified five strategic issues that he presented during discussions. The first was a balanced budget. City Council adopted Financial Governance Policies in 2017 that addressed this issue, and the 2020 plan was submitted with expenditures planned within revenue.

Compensation equity is the second strategic issue. Some progress was made in Fiscal Year 2019 to address the City’s overall workforce falling more than 26 percent behind the comparable market. A 2.6 percent cost of living adjustment and up to an additional 8.4 percent adjustment for the labor workers farthest from market was included. Progress continues on this issue in the new proposal. Current market analysis shows that the City’s civil service employees are paid an average 7.5 percent below market and non-civil service employees are an average 25.4 percent below. The Fiscal Year 2020 proposal includes a 2.4 percent cost of living adjustment for all employees and an adjusted pay plan that would bring civil service employees to within 5 percent of market and classified employees to within 15 percent of market. Civil service employees will remain eligible to receive step increases.

Another strategic issue that has now been addressed is street maintenance funding. City Council adopted a Street Maintenance Fee in December that became effective July 1. This fee will bring in more than four times the funding previously available and make significant progress in maintaining streets throughout the city.

Budget constraints would not allow significant progress on the strategic issues of retirement funding and building maintenance though Olson remains determined to address these items in the future.

A new strategic issue added to the list is evaluation of staffing and service levels to achieve the City’s mission. The City Manager plans to have future discussions with City Council on the subject.

The 2020 Budget is organized by core functions, and departmental presentations will follow that structure. The four primary service areas are Public Works, Public Safety, Recreation and Community and Economic Development. A fifth area Support Services which is made up of the departments necessary to assist the primary services in achieving their missions.

Departmental budget presentations are scheduled during August workshops beginning August 12 with Public Works, Public Safety and Recreation. Presentations and City Council deliberation will continue until budget adoption scheduled September 17.

The annual budget is an extensive document that staff has worked diligently to make usable and understandable. A central budget webpage,, contains links to all documents, presentations, notices and videos. All budget workshops are broadcast on Spectrum Cable Channel 10, webstreamed live and made available for playback through the City’s website.

In addition to viewing materials, the public is encouraged to engage in the process by attending budget workshops and participating in the budget public hearing September 3.

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