Tonight the City Council will get a first look at the new budget for next year. It appears from a cursory review that the budget will be balanced using a combination of cuts and fund transfers.
Here are some of the proposed cuts by department:
This, of course, is just a first draft. While it appears that this one year solution will stop the major bleeding, the five year projection still has the City on track to exhaust the reserves by year five, which clearly is not an option that anyone should want. However, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect Acting City Manager Lisa Goldman to do what previous City Managers — both permanent and Interim — haven’t done in the past few years. She has managed to produce a budget for this year after finding herself in the position of having to clean up a huge mess not of her making. It’s a tribute to her skill that she is managing to hold the ship steady in preparation for John Russo to take over. He knows exactly what he is getting into and she is handing him a City in no worse condition than how she found it. How he handles the City’s budget given the five year forecast will definitely be interesting.