Wednesday, June 9, 2010

City of Fairfield Launches Website Inviting Community to Follow Progress in Priority Based Budget Initiative

PBB is attractive to the City because it relies on community input and the work of employees to be successful.

In contrast to past years, decisions on potential funding reductions are expected to occur at the program level rather than at the level of individual budget line items that run across multiple programs. The results of this process are anticipated to enable decision makers to reallocate funding between programs based upon changing needs and priorities.

Throughout the process, the City will reach out to the community and employees.The City has managed unprecedented budget deficits. These deficits are attributable to a significant decline in revenues. Since reaching a high in fiscal year 2006/07, the City’s General Fund has declined by 25% to $49.3 million in fiscal year 2009/2010. The decline in revenues have resulted from reductions in property and sales taxes due to the rapid decline in home and commercial property values, high level of foreclosures, and limited funding opportunities for residents and businesses to raise funds.

The City has worked hard to preserve a high level of service by implementing a number of measures to shore up finances including 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 property dispositions.

Despite all of these actions, the City has a projected structural deficit of at least $8.0 million for fiscal year 2011/12. In order to close the estimated gap, the City is looking to a new method of allocating resources - the Priority Based Budgeting (PBB) process.

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