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Difficult Budget Times Ahead for Alameda in 2012

By Erica Madison

“Think about what you’re doing before you pass out those red pens,” a representative from the Alameda Library told Alameda City Council at last Tuesday’s budget session.

The Library isn’t the only service which stands to have its budget cut.

For the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the city cut $2.6 million from Fire, Library, Parks, Police, including salary cuts for the City Attorney, City Manager, City Council, Finance and Human Resources. Of all city services, City Council expenditures took the lowest cut at $48,000.

“The employees cost us a lot of money to perform very valuable services,” said Assistant City Manager Lisa Goldman.

These cuts were only for the current year. Next year there is a projected budget gap of $4.4 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Additional cuts could come from more city services.

“There is nothing left to cut from the library, this is a lean operation. There has already been a $100,000 or 36% reduction in money for books and CDs,” said the Alameda Library representative.

Another option is to increase the sales tax, but this would only raise $1-2 million which is not enough to close the gap.

Despite the negative news, Alameda City Council was happy with the report.

“We’re doing really good, it’s been three years since we had a negative fund balance,” said Councilmember Beverly Johnson.

For those citizens that would like to participate in restructuring Alameda City’s budget, the city is creating a website called the Budget Challenge. It is an interactive calculator that shows citizens how the budget is affected by changes such as reductions.

“A valuable learning tool for the community,” said Mayor Marie Gilmore.

1 comment to Difficult Budget Times Ahead for Alameda in 2012

  • Barbara

    After parcel tax for schools I developed permanent allergies to taxes. Any attempt to raise my taxes makes me sick. Sorry library, sorry other services my wallet is empty…
    No more taxes, but more taxpayers would be a solution…

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