The Council will shortly take up its annual review of the budget. The City uses a two year budget process, and this is an off-year, so the focus is on adjustments to last year’s decisions rather than wholesale changes.
The City is in better financial shape than it has been for a number of years owing to the improvement of the local economy. Moreover, that’s part of a continuing trend. There will always be economic cycles, and downturns, but for now we appear to be enjoying an upswing. We can put money aside for the tight times, but we can also think about what, if any, deferred or new commitments we’d like to fund.
I’d like to hear from you about that before the Council starts its discussions next week. So if there’s something you think we should fund, drop me a line at email@example.com.
To get you started, here are a few ideas I’m thinking of bringing up:
- Establish a matching grant program to help property owners pay to retrofit their homes and businesses to reduce water consumption
- Set up a matching grant program to help property owners pay for sidewalk repairs
- Fund an additional motorcycle officer to increase enforcement of traffic laws
- Fund crosswalk improvements to enhance the safety of kids walking to and from our schools. This can also include funding crossing guard programs (thanks, Jean).
- Increase funding for collecting trash that collects along Old County Road near the CalTrain station and along the northern and southern ends of Laurel Street
- Install garbage and recycling cans on the south end of Laurel Street, similar to the ones on the north end
- Set aside funding for Holly Street corridor improvements, for both homeowner safety and traffic safety
- Augment our street repair funds so that we maintain our local roads
I look forward to hearing your suggestions!
To put things in perspective, while our financial situation is better, we’re not talking about a level of income that would, say, let us buy the Black Mountain properties outright. That would take tens of millions of dollars.