Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sacramento Budget Shrinking

One of the reasons we call for a nonprofit dedicated to the management and fund raising for the Parkway is to protect from this type of up and down government budget process that always winds up cutting parks and other items deemed (though we know better) nonessential the most.

City service cuts 'inevitable'
As budget red ink grows, Sacramento officials say layoffs are also likely.
By Terri Hardy -
Published 12:00 am PST Saturday, January 19, 2008

Brace yourself. Sacramento's rocky financial picture is getting worse and cuts in services are now "inevitable," city budget officials said Friday.

Each city department is now analyzing how services would be impacted if they cut their bottom line by 10 percent and by 20 percent, said Russ Fehr, the city's finance director.

Layoffs are looming too – a handful of part-time employees have already been let go – although the city's budget and finance directors said they don't know at this point the total number of workers who could lose their jobs.

They acknowledge that the worst-case scenario is now reality: The projected deficit for 2008-09 is $55 million, the high end of the $35 million to $55 million estimated in October.

"Things keep getting worse," Fehr said. "We have no sense that things have bottomed out and no idea when we'll have significant financial growth again.

"It's inevitable that service levels will be lower, but it's not like we're going out of business," he said. "About 85 percent of what we do will continue."

The city's general fund budget is about $450 million.