Update on Vallejo’s Budget for 2012-2013

Adoption of Budget for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 

by David Corbett

 

At the June 26th City Council meeting, City Manager Dan Keen presented his revised budget for Fiscal year 2012-2013, which included several changes from the budget he presented two weeks earlier. The changes were prompted by remarks from citizens and council members concerning the overwhelming desire and support for augmented public safety, especially given the increase in funding permitted by passage of Measure B.

Keen stated that in response to that feedback he proposed, using Measure B funds (which sunset in 10 years) hiring five new police officers and two new code enforcement officers, and augmenting the Economic Development department.”

The five officers would be hired only for the 10-year term of the Measure B funding, and would cost $1 million per year, including full compensation and benefits. Any long-term positions would be funded with non-Measure B funds.

The additional two Code Enforcement staff would cost $200,00 per year (full compensation and benefits), and would again be paid for from Measure B funds.

The enhanced marketing efforts for economic development would be coordinated through the Vallejo Convention and Visitors Bureau and would required $50,000 per year in Measure B funds.

Keen also emphasized that the enhanced Code Enforcement staffing would be used to implement a “smart team” approach, coordinating efforts with other city agencies, including the Building, Health & Safety, Water, Sewage, Police, Fire and Child Protective Services departments and agencies. He also emphasized that the newly instituted Neighborhood Law Program will assist citizens in addressing problem properties in their neighborhoods, by educating neighbors on how to use strategies such as civil nuisance abatement actions to target property owners who neglect their properties or allow them to be taken over by squatters or other undesirable tenants. This request for greater coordination of efforts to target problem properties was a key focus of citizen and council comments in response to the earlier budget proposal.

Keen noted that the changes to the originally proposed budget will mean the structural deficit will increase from $3.8 million to $4.5 million, but the city will pay down its PERS debt, and put 5% of it general fund revenue in reserve funds.”

The response of the council members to the revised budget was universally favorable if not gushing, and the revised budget was approved unanimously.

This is a small first step toward greater security in our neighborhoods. The increases in budgeting and staffing are really quite modest, and neighborhood watch groups and concerned citizens will have to remain active and vigilant in the protection of their communities and communication among one another.

For additional information on the council vote and the budget, visit the Vallejo Independent Bulletin city council report and the City of Vallejo’s website.

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