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Group Holds Second Community Forum on City of Alameda Budget

Last night, at the Alameda Main Library, the community group “Alameda Citizens Task Force” (ACT) held its second workshop on the Alameda city budget. Alameda City Treasurer, Kevin Kennedy and Alameda City Auditor, Kevin Kearney were on hand to address the audience and speak to six focus sub-groups that brainstormed on local public service pensions, contracts, salaries, overtime, medical insurance and other issues.

Alex Stevens, an Alameda resident, told Action Alameda News as he entered the meeting room, “I’m very concerned about the budget and the way the city is not really paying attention to what could potentially happen.”

The meeting last night was a follow-up to a presentation last week that also included Kennedy and Kearney. Both elected officials are drawing on their experience on the City’s Fiscal Sustainability Committee which wrapped up in 2009. (See presentation below.) In late March, Kennedy stood before Alameda City Council and warned that the City of Alameda was on a path towards bankruptcy; Kennedy was responding to a City staff report that projected budget deficits for the next five years, unless action was taken.

Before the meeting kicked-off, Kennedy told Action Alameda News, “I think it’s great that this community group has formed and both Auditor Kearney and I are more than happy to invest some time bringing them up to speed on the budget issues and how everything works. It’s a pretty complex issue but they all seem very committed to learning about it and I think it’s great – the more people who understand this stuff the better and the more likely the problem gets fixed. It looks like we’re going to get into detail on some stuff tonight.”

Gretchen Lipow, and ACT organizer, said, “One of the more important goals of tonight’s meeting is to develop policy leading to transparency of city worker contract proposals. We also want to see the same for the hospital business plan. ACT is calling for a regional meeting of city finance directors of comparable size to Alameda to discuss financial problems. In other words – how are they surviving?”

Residents assemble for workshop on City of Alameda budget.

The group says that more similar forums are planned.

FSC-LRFF Community Presentation- For 5-18-11 Presentation

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