HOW BAD COULD IT GET?
If nothing is done to reduce expenses and there are no changes in current revenue trends, the City of Manteca will face deficits in the following upcoming fiscal years based on projections made by Finance Director Suzanne Mallory. The 2009-10 deficit will shrink to $2.5 million if measures now in place or being proposed take hold and there are no further revenue reductions.
2011-12 $15M to $16M
2012-13 $16M to $17M
* In millions of dollars
Manteca for years prided itself on being lean and mean.
The no holds barred examination of how the city does business that was ordered by the City Council in December brought up ways to combine duties, shift and reduce staffing to become even more efficient.
They even addressed things such as manual time cards that were costing the city tens of thousands of dollars a year more than an automatic timekeeping system would that relies on employee thumb scans.
Altogether, over $9 million in remaining fat and some muscle was cut.
Now the trick is to reduce more muscle without cutting to the bone as the city has another $2.5 million out of an original projected deficit of $11.3 million for the fiscal year starting July 1 to address. That number could balloon back up if the state follows through on a threat to “borrow” more property tax from local governments if the propositions don’t pass on the statewide ballot Tuesday and property tax revenues drop farther than the projected 15 percent. Manteca would have to fork over a minimum of $1.2 million should that happen.
City leaders have repeatedly noted that the impact in services by freezing 44 positions or 14 percent of the municipal workforce won’t be noticeable to most people at first. Additional cuts, however, will have a significant impact on service levels.
The next steps the council may have to take based on discussions at Thursday’s budget workshop include:
•adopting a formal budget in September or October instead of July 1 as sales tax and property tax information is not yet in. Those two revenue sources account for 50 percent of the general fund budget.
•adopting a continuing resolution to allow the city to keep paying its bills after July 1 without a budget.
•declaring a fiscal emergency.
•possible inter-fund borrowing to be repaid with interest in a bid to minimize reductions in service levels.
•possibly trying to reopen or add side letters to memorandums of understands with employee groups regarding raises and other employment costs.
•taking over landscape maintenance districts.
•establishing a special revenue fund for development services to assure those paying fees they are not being overcharged.
•implementation of a matrix fee study to recoup money the city is legally entitled to receive for providing services.
•continuing to have all departments evaluate budget requests for even more reductions.