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Ripon’s red ink discussion continues tonight

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POSTED February 3, 2009 4:34 a.m.
RIPON – The last time that the Ripon City Council publicly discussed how to balance the 2008-09 budget, things didn’t go very well.
With a shortfall of nearly $500,000 needing to be cut in order to keep the ledger in the black, a somewhat tense exchange between outgoing Councilmen Mike Restuccia and Curt Pernice led to the removal of the budget line item that would have covered the cost of the expansion of the Ripon Skate Park that Pernice helped champion.
The 3-2 split vote marked the culmination of a polarized council during their last full official meeting together.
But when they meet tonight to discuss the options currently on the table for the budget, the five member panel will get another chance to reach an agreement that could very well shape Ripon’s financial future.
Whether council newcomers Garry Krebbs and Charlie Gay will side with the opposing votes of Vice Mayor Red Nutt and Councilman Dean Uecker will be one of the questions before Ripon’s governing board that is facing fiscal challenges due to the California state budget shortfall and a housing downturn that has dramatically affected revenues for municipalities in the Central Valley.
A myriad of options exist for the council to make sure that they’ve got their finances in order, and the discussion held  tonight will be one of the first major items that the newly formed council has tackled since taking office earlier this month.
Because it’s listed on the agenda as a discussion item, it’ll be up to the individual members of the council to interject their ideas based on the needs of the budget, and can inspire a vote if at least members of the panel agree on the motion.
Also listed on the discussion item portion of the agenda will be the introduction of a Code of Ethics by Mayor Chuck Winn. No further information about the item was listed on the agenda.
For more information, or to obtain a copy of the agenda, visit the City of Ripon’s web site at  HYPERLINK “http://www.cityofripon.org” www.cityofripon.org, or call (209) 599-2108.
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