JUL 2013 – City News by Council Member Bob Gardner

If it’s summer it must be time to consider the City of Redlands budget.   This year we finished our work on the 2013-2014 city budget June 4, much earlier than other cities.   Our budget discussion included meetings with our city manager and department heads, and review of several options for both increasing and decreasing spending.

Details on the final budget approved by the City Council are available on our city website.   From my perspective, the budget meets what I call “The Big Four” criteria I use to create a good and responsible budget.  First, it is balanced, meaning we are not spending more than the revenue we anticipate receiving during the fiscal year.  Put another way, we are living within our means.  Second, we are not using any funds from our General Fund reserves.  This is important because we need to continue to build our reserves for future security and for insurance for unforeseen events.   Third, we are not using any loans from other funds to balance the General Fund in this budget.   We have reduced the loans outstanding to the General Fund, and I hope we make more progress in reducing loan balances generally as we look to future year budgets.  Finally, we have no tax increases in this budget.   This is good for our residents who of course do not want any tax increases.  More discussion will be needed in the future as to how the city will expand its revenue base beyond economic growth to pay for needed improvements, especially infrastructure.

I am pleased that we have been able to get this budget approved on time and that it provides the necessary services and programs to keep our city a great place to live, work, and play.   I welcome any input on our city budget from residents and business owners.