New budget shows little change from last year

By Tamara Steiner on July 22, 2013

Budget pie charts 2013City Manager Gary Napper presented the 2013-14 city budgets to the City Council at the regular meeting on July 16. The Council is expected to adopt the budgets at a special meeting on July 30. The budgets are normally approved before the June 30 fiscal year end, but were delayed by months of operational issues that are now nearing resolution, explained Napper.

The total city budget is $12,609,167 and covers the General Fund, Capital Improvements, the successor agency to the Redevelopment Agency and all restricted and earmarked funds for the landscape district and other specific uses.

The budget is balanced as required by law, but Napper cautioned it is “conditional” on labor concessions staying at a status quo.

General Fund

General Fund revenues are projected to exceed expenses by $24,000, largely due to the uptick in the real estate market and an increase in the property tax revenues that used to go to the Redevelopment Agency but now come directly to the General Fund.

Staff labor concessions continue to keep the budget in control, said Napper. Over the last four years, the staff has seen a double digit decrease in real take-home pay after 11 unpaid furlough days, no wage or salary increases and increased payroll deductions for their benefit plans. With 70 percent of the overall $3.6 million General Fund budget going to personnel service, Napper says it is “remarkable” that the city has seen no cut in public services as a result.

Unfunded pensions liability

The city continues to chip away at its unfunded pension liability. Adoption of a three tier CalPERS plan with new city employees coming under the least expensive of the plans reduced last year’s pension costs by $107,000. According to CalPERS data, Clayton’s unfunded liability in June of 2012 stood at $1,218,118. Most of the debt will be retired in 5-7 years, according to Napper.

The budget will be up for public comment and approval at a special City Council meeting on July 30 at 7 p.m. in Hoyer Hall at the Clayton Library.

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