Stockton officials approve municipal budget of nearly $900 million

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Stockton City Council has passed a nearly $900 million budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year, ending “status quo” budgets from years of bankruptcy recovery with minimal growth, chief financial officer Kimberly said. Trammel.

“What we are looking at now is moving towards a more standardized city government budget,” Trammel said at the June 21 city council meeting. “We look at everything from the perspective of our long-term financial plan to ensure that any decisions we make will be affordable in the long term.”

Stockton is the 11th largest city in California. The population grew by about 30,000 over 14 years as the city recovered from the financial crisis and bankruptcy of 2008. The workforce has still not returned to pre-bankruptcy levels. The city’s new budget calls for a net increase of 33 full-time positions, including six fire stations and the reopening of Fire Station No. 1 on South Fresno Avenue, which has been closed since 2011.

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The city’s public works department has a vacancy rate of 17%. The new budget will create a new public works position to support new development and construction projects, a position that Public Works Director Jodi Almassy said is badly needed to help achieve more $1 billion in capital improvement projects over the next five years, although $623 million in the projects remain unfunded.

At the June 15 budget hearing, Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln said the city needs to clarify its position on committing to inclusion and equity when targeting areas and initiatives. of investment. The city has over $50 million in deferred maintenance, and public works policy dictates that the money is spent where the city deems it to be most run down citywide, not on any specific community in fairness purposes. Lincoln specifically asked staff to come back with a price to replace all of the redwood curbs still in South Stockton.

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As the level of city services is on the rise, Fugazi expressed some concern about the long-term outlook.

“When board member Wright and I were first on the board, that’s when we came out of bankruptcy in 2015…there was $182 million or whatever in the general fund, and now we have $100 million more. I never thought I would see this day, which is very nice,” Fugazi said during the June 15 budget hearing. “We don’t have a crystal ball that we can predict, but if we stay on this long-term financial plan, will we be able to maintain the level of service we provide today? »

Trammel said today’s unstable economy is indeed clouding Stockton’s view of the future. The cost of doing business in almost every industry has increased; prices for rent, real estate, fuel and groceries are skyrocketing. Trammel said a recession is likely; it’s just a matter of when and how serious.

“It’s certainly our priority never to have to cut posts again – we went there, we did it,” Trammel said during the June 15 hearing. “One of the things that our long-term financial plan has always done a good job of saying is, ‘Here’s what we think salary and benefits are going to cost in the long run, we want to make sure they’re affordable. for the city.’ It’s the biggest chunk of the budget. The inflation I mentioned, general expenses are a much smaller part of the budget.

Stockton also rose from fourth to 16th on Truth in Accounting’s list — a nonprofit offering comprehensive analysis of government budget data — of the 75 most fiscally healthy cities in America. The city earned a ‘C’ grade because Stockton would need $300 from each of its ratepayers to pay all of its bills – last year’s list analyzing a city report for the 2019 fiscal year showed a surplus of $3,000 for every taxpayer in Stockton.

Record reporter Ben Irwin covers Stockton and San Joaquin county government. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @B1rwin. Support local news, subscribe to The Stockton Record at https://www.recordnet.com/subscribenow.

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