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Lathrop council may add four new positions
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The City of Lathrop could be adding four new positions and reclassifying a fifth position as part of its annual mid-year budget process.

Last month the Lathrop City Council approved its midyear budget report submitted by city staff that included a provision that will add four new positions – a land development manager, an administrative technician, a finance manager, and a chief information officer – and reclassify an existing position as the chief building officer.

The positions are part of a reorganization meant to streamline the city’s processes and make things more efficient as the city grows in leaps and bounds – reclassifying a senior finance analyst in public works as the finance director, reclassifying the chief information technology manager as the chief information officer, and adding an administrative technician to the finance department and an administrative assistant to the code enforcement division.

The report was accepted and approved by the council.

Because sales tax revenue has exceeded expectations, the city is recommending that next year’s budget increase the expected sales tax amount by $300,000, and additional adjustments could be coming in the future after year-end property and sales tax totals are evaluated.

The city has also seen it’s expenses grow unexpectedly due to a number of events and circumstances including state-mandated closed captioning expenses, legal advertising expenses, the temporary relocation of the police department, cyber security upgrades, security upgrades as a number of city facilities, costs for the July 1 celebration, the costs associated with the Parks and Recreation Master plan and the costs for renovating Sangalang Park. In total, the city spent almost $290,000 that it wasn’t anticipating on these events and circumstances, but between last fiscal year and this fiscal year the city is not anticipating a hit to the general fund reserves to cover those cost overruns – the city is still anticipating having $8.3 million in reserves to help weather economic swings which may be pivotal if the COVID-19 pandemic triggers an economic slowdown.

The matter was discussed in an open meeting of the public – which appears to be the last time for several months that the City of Lathrop will be able to conduct its business in front of a live audience. Plans have been put in place for future council and planning commission meetings to be held online with provisions that allow for the public to call in or submit comments for the record, while other meetings have been cancelled.

The staffing changes are part of a citywide effort to fill unforeseen vacancies and increase workflow production.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.