The City Council Budget and Finance Committee meets in a “special” meeting at 1:15 p.m. today with only 24-hour notice to discuss CAO Miguel Santana’s latest attempt to mask the depths of the budget crisis with one-time savings. (Budget Meeting.pdf)
Santana’s 27-page report offers a department by department breakdown on what the impact would be of imposing 10 more furlough days on civilian workers through June — spending cuts needed.because of the uncertainty of the P3 parking lot fire sale going through.
In a word, the impact would be devastating — if the department’s reports are to be believed. Criminals going free, public safety jeopardized, administrative chaos
So Santana offers a variety of budget tricks, fund-transfers and other alternative one-time solutions to end the fiscal year with a “balanced budget” but do little or nothing to solve the $350 million or more deficit for next year.
“In light of the projected year-end deficit if the revenues from the P3 transaction do not materialize and the limited time remaining in the fiscal year
to implement reductions, it is
imperative that immediate action be taken on these proposed department reductions to ensure the City ends the year with a balanced budget,” Santana said.
Even by the low performance standards set by City Hall, it’s more than a little shocking that seven months into the financial year they are still dickering with one-time payroll and service cuts and bookkeeping tricks.
The financial crisis hit three years ago and nothing has been done to fix the fundamental structural problem that city government costs too much and delivers too little.
They must be held accountable on March 8.