The City Council unanimously adopted its 2007-2008 budget at its June 18, 2007, meeting. The budget included a surplus of nearly $1 million, which will be used to replenish a 20% reserve that has been used in previous years to dampen budget cuts. The budget represents the first structurally balanced budget in four years.
Changes include the addition of 27 full-time equivalents (FTEs) to the city's current 481. This includes an increase of three sworn and three non-sworn police personnel, additional personnel for the After School Education & Safety Program (ASES) and Washington Aquatic Center, one person for the library, an additional housing specialist, 1.5 FTEs in Public Works and two more general government employees.
As previously reported, the budget includes the revived Cherry Festival, holiday lighting, and Sunday hours at the library.
Revenues to the general fund were estimated at $78.4 million, a 2.1 % increase over last year's budget. Sales taxes generate the greatest revenues (32%) , followed by property taxes (21%), and utility users taxes (14%).
Expenditures were estimated at $77.5 million, a 4.5% increase over last year's budget. The greatest expenditures are for police (33%) and fire (22%). Community development and general government account for 9% each and the library, public works, and recreation and human services account for 7% each.
Traffic improvements planned for this year include the replacement of traffic lights and the pedestrian island at the intersection of Estabrook Street and Washington Avenue. This intersection was listed as the third most dangerous intersection in a 2005 study entitled "Analysis of High Collision Locations in San Leandro."
The intersection of San Leandro Boulevard, Broadmoor Boulevard, and Park Street will have a semi-round-about installed to help reduce driver confusion.
Lighted crosswalks are planned at both libraries.
Councilmember Diana Souza objected to approving the budget for the Redevelopment Agency because she had not been provided with an accounting of where the agency spends its money. She also opposed the increase of $100,000 in funding for the LINKS shuttle, stating, "I oppose increasing the LINKS redevelopment funding with the BID [Business Improvement District] in place." Souza was the sole councilmember opposing approval of the Redevelopment Agency budget.
During public comments, Benny Lee, President of the Heron Bay Homeowners Association and a Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Steven Leung, Chair of the Asian Business Council of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce, Hendy Huang, and Arlene Lum, a Library-Historical Commissioner, all encouraged the City Council to support the establishment of a friendship city relationship with Yangchun, in Guangdong Province, China. Lee noted that Asians constitute about 26% of San Leandro's population and Lum pointed out the increasing numbers of Asian businesses, with 614 added between 2001 and 2007. San Leandro currently has sister city relationships with Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, Ponta Delgada in the Azores Islands, and Naga City, Republic of the Philippines.Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at June 20, 2007 1:20 AM | TrackBack