During the Tuesday night city council meeting PFM Consultants delivered a power point presentation on a planning model for the city’s budget over the course of the next 10 years.
The presentation offered recommendations that included maintaining General Fund reserve levels at 50%, develop workforce management strategies to consider the long-term economic impact a new hire will have, review and update the Master Fee Schedule to diversify the city’s revenues as much as possible, analyze potential cost-savings of service contracts, create a Pension Stabilization Reserve to mitigate severe increases, and lastly to promote economic development.
Mayor Pro Tem Ed Scott expressed his disappointment that the recommendations were the “same old stuff that staff has continually brought up and I thought us bringing you in as a consultant we’d have some better and newer recommentations and new ideas.”
Councilman Joe Baca Jr. remarked that tough decisions will have to be made regarding the budget, and asked the consultant whether it would be beneficial for the city to pay a lump sum amount toward the pension liability, to which the consultant replied that it was up to the city to decide if that would be sensible.
According to Director of Development Services Robb Steel the city currently pays $13 million each year for PERS, which will increase by up to $1.5 million every year for 10 years, to become a $26 million annual liability.
The Budget Advisory Committee submitted its report to city council that presented 21 revenue enhancement recommendations and 27 for expenditures.
City council was asked to approve and adopt the budget for FY2018/2019, but were not prepared to do so.
According to Mayor Deborah Robertson the BAC report was not made available to them until Thursday evening, and subsequently did not have ample time to go through the 500-plus page report.
It was a unanimous vote to continue the public hearing on the item until August 14.