2:35 pm
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Opinion / Letters
  Arts / Entertainment
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  DJ Designers
  Advertise With Us
  About Us

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

Officials say Redwood City budget strong: Concerns linger about worker costs, auto dealer departures
February 27, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Redwood City’s finances are on stronger footing than the past but threats like pension and worker costs and the departure of auto dealerships remain concerns, city officials said at a mid-year budget update Monday night.

“The financial situation has improved but it’s still shaky,” City Manager Bob Bell told the City Council before it received a detailed breakdown of the money coming in and out of its coffers.

The City Council will hold a budget study session June 9 and consider adopting it at the Monday, June 23 meeting.

At Monday night’s meeting, Finance Director Brian Ponty explained that 60 percent of the general fund is due to property and sales taxes which are both in stronger positions because of higher assessed values and a 24 percent increase in auto sales tax over fiscal year 2011-12. The tax — one of the budget’s “bright components,” Ponty said — contributed $23.5 million in general fund revenue.

However, the dealers are always complaining about the lack of land, Ponty said.

Councilwoman Diane Howard suggested the council’s economic subcommittee take a look at the danger of losing the dealerships and Mayor Jeff Gee agreed, noting that the businesses are “very land intensive” and in competition with other uses for limited space.

“Given the economic pressures and our vision we have to find a way to reconcile that,” Gee said.

Other possible threats to the city’s finances include property tax inflation factors, public safety overtime, changes in future employee contributions to the retirement system and decreases in the extra property tax returned from the state.

The funds, known as Educational Revenue Augmentation Funds, are projected at $4.6 million in 2013-14 but drop to an estimated $2.5 million in 2015-16.

The development related revenue — planning checks and fees among them — are estimated to increase 4.7 percent in 2013-14 but drop 14 percent in 2014-16.

The bottom line is an estimated operating surplus of $4.3 million which will continue out about five years until Public Employee Retirement System rates are expected to go up, Ponty said.

The City Council took no action Monday on Ponty’s and Bell’s presentation but Ponty is recommending it transfer at least $2.5 million from the general fund to the workers compensation budget to reach the minimum recommended funding level of 70 percent. Ponty recommended holding all other fund balances as protection against the “other economic and financial threats that are out there.”

Looking to the future, Bell said one challenge for the city will be continuing to provide an expected level of service with a growing population and a staff whose turnover means a loss of institutional knowledge and new employee learning curve. In 2012, the city’s population was 79,000 and full-time positions were 520. The projected ratio in 2015 has the same number of workers but a population grown to 84,400.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: ponty, million, percent, other, monday, budget,

Other stories from today:

Officials say Redwood City budget strong: Concerns linger about worker costs, auto dealer departures
Person hit by car on El Camino Real in Redwood CIty
Carbon black facility lease approved

Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
Return To Archives

Daily Journal Quick Poll
Do you support a land swap between the city of San Carlos and the elementary school district so the Charter Learning Center could be built on North Crestview?

Not sure


Tabbed Structure - Regular
Light showers, possible hail arriving tonight
Bay Area residents should expect rainy weather to arrive tonight and continue through the weekend, b..
Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
JERUSALEM — Israel broke off Mideast peace talks and brought the U.S.-brokered process to the brin..
Paul McCartney to close Candlestick Park with farewell concert in August
Music legend Paul McCartney will perform the final concert at San Francisco's soon-to-be-demolished ..
FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes
WASHINGTON — The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and requ..
Man, 84, arrested for shooting at Daly City medical facility
Police in Daly City have arrested an 84-year-old man in connection with a shooting at a medical cent..
More >>  
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County politics