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Fairfield's Budget: Tough Times, Tough Choices
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The City faces an unprecedented budget deficit. This shortfall is due to a significant decline in revenues from the drop in home and commercial property values, along with record level of foreclosures, falling retail sales, and high unemployment.
The City has already cut $26 million from its General Fund budget, a reduction of 31%. Measures taken to shore up finances include reorganizing its workforce, layoffs, elimination of vacant positions, compensation cuts that have resulted in City Hall and other City facilities being closed one day each week, drawing on reserves, and the sale of surplus property.
Despite all of these actions, the City has a projected structural deficit of at least $8.3 million for fiscal year 2011/12. Cuts of this magnitude risk the closing of facilities and the elimination of entire programs. Before undertaking cuts of such impact on services and employees, the City is looking to a new method of allocating resources called the Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) process to guide the setting of its financial priorities. This process will rank all services based on what they contribute to meeting City goals, taking into account legal mandates, demands for service, cost recovery, and alternatives for service delivery. This review will conclude by September 2010, and will form the basis for a budget reduction plan to be submitted to the City Council by January 2011.
Throughout the process, the City will reach out to the community and employees, including a mid-July community meeting, and presentations to service clubs, neighborhood associations and other organizations. The total process is anticipated to last approximately four to five months. Please subscribe to this webpage for regular updates and ways to contribute to the process.
City Council Study Session May 17, 2010 Agenda ReportPresentationVideo of session
Fairfield's PBB process was officially launched on May 17, 2010, at a City Council study session in which a detailed overview of the process was provided. City Council, Fairfield Executive Management, and members of the public outlined the City's results. Subsequent to the study session, a three-hour workshop was held for City employees.
Community Stakeholder Focus Group June 29, 2010 Session Invitation Budget Discussion Presentation Budget Summary Brochure Budget Summary Brochure - Spanish Results Definition Presentation
Community Forum July 19, 2010 Meeting Invitation Budget Discussion Presentation
Community Forum Hosted by Senior Advocate Committee July 22, 2010 Meeting Invitation Budget Discussion Presentation Audience Comments and Suggestions Fairfield Results Definitions
At a May 2010 Study Session, the following five objectives or priority Results were identified for the City:
(Results ordered alphabetically)
• Healthy and Attractive Place to Live, Work and Play
• Prosperous Local Economy
• Quality, Family-oriented Community
• Reliable, Well Maintained Infrastructure
• Safe Community
Subsequent to the Study Session, City staff embarked on a community outreach campaign to define or achieve the City’s Results. Workshops and forums for residents, businesses, and employees were held at the Fairfield Center for Creative Arts and the Senior Center. The Results and their definitions are summarized in the Fairfield’s Results Maps. Project Summary Memorandum
Due to the similarity in feedback that was received for the “Quality, Family-Oriented Community Result” and “Healthy and Attractive Place to Live, Work, and Play”, results, these two items were collapsed into one Result – “Quality, Family-Oriented Community”. All of the input that the City has received has been summarized in the Community Input and Fairfield’s Results.
Project Summary November 9, 2010
City Council Special Study Session February 15, 2011
Fiscal Year 2011/12 Budget Overview and Proposed 2011 Budget Reduction Plan
PBB is attractive to the City because it relies on community input and the work of employees to be successful. To guide the City through the process, the City will be working with Johnson & Fabian Advisory Group. The Group consists of two experienced local government advisors, Chris Fabian and Jon Johnson. Johnson & Fabian Advisory Group maintains a website to provide updates on the work they are doing with other communities and updated articles on their work. Would you like more information?The City strives to keep the community informed and involved.
Groups or organizations that wish to learn more can request a visit by contacting Assistant to the City Manager, Dave White at 707.428.7398.