City to Consider Mid-Cycle Budget Adjustments. Here’s What MOBN! Thinks.
Like most cities, Oakland operates on a two-year budget cycle, adopted to cover two fiscal years running from July 1 through June 30 two years later. The current cycle runs through June of 2013, which means we are half way through it.
As is typical, the city is about to start looking at its fiscal performance to date and changes in its projections in order to determine what changes should be made in the second year of the budget. Council will begin considering mid-cycle adjustments on Monday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m. The agenda is here.
The reports containing the City Administrator’s and Mayor’s recommendations are here and here. For the first time in recent memory, there are no recommended layoffs, closures or reductions of city services. While there are budget overruns (the largest is in the OPD — either $8.6 million or $9.6 million), there are also some positive revenue developments.
The Administration’s proposal addresses a number of important issues MOBN! has been stressing for quite some time: increased civilianization of police department functions, increased police academies, and possibly a new approach to NSA compliance. The Administration also indicates it has looked seriously at the Los Angeles Police Department (as MOBN! did here) and hopes to bring in a civilian inspector general, which LAPD has had for more than ten years.
The administration is also recommending implementation of an “unanticipated expenditures fund,” which looks like the first, small step toward a rainy day fund, a practice MOBN! and the City’s Budget Advisory Committee have long advocated.
We have a number of questions about some issues, including the City’s use of one-time sources of income to counter unexpected expenses, the potential shrinkage of its reserve and the reasons for a number of the budget overruns. We have raised these in our letter to Mayor Quan, City Administrator Santana and the City Council, which is available here (full text also available after the jump). We will also plan to present those questions at the meeting Monday night and future meetings considering these changes.
To read the full text of our letter, click “Continue Reading,” below.