Mayor Swearengin Presents Plan To Address $2.85 Million Shortfall in FY 2014 Budget

FRESNO – Mayor Ashley Swearengin today presented a plan to address a $2.85 million budget shortfall in fiscal year 2013-14 that offers two options: reducing the police force by 25 officers through attrition or a layoff plan that would impact 49 civilian positions.

“This proposal presents a stark but clear choice for the City Council,” Mayor Swearengin said. “Unfortunately, our options are not good.”

Mayor Swearengin said the proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget includes an additional $2.3 million in RDA funding and an additional $750,000 in funding for replacement of police and fire emergency equipment. However, the proposal also assumes that the City will not realize $3.6 million in revenue from residential solid waste franchising and $800,000 of planned savings from employee concessions.

Mayor Swearengin said one-time revenue as well as cuts to economic development programs will address $1.13 million of the shortfall. To deal with the remaining shortfall, Mayor Swearengin’s plan offers two options:

Public Safety Attrition Plan: The plan would reduce the Police Department through attrition by 25 officers. This option would achieve $1.95 million in savings in the first year with ongoing annual savings of $3.25 million. Under this plan, the City would begin to hire back police officers in fiscal year 2015.
Civilian Layoff Plan: This plan would impact 49 positions, including seven vacant positions, which would achieve net savings of $1.6 million. Positions impacted would be in the Mayor/City Manager’s Office, Council Offices, Personnel, Finance, City Attorney’s Office, City Clerk’s Office, Fire, Information Services, Public Works, PARCS, Police and Development and Resource Management. This plan would cut one code enforcement team and three of the five senior Hot Meals sites and would change the Fire Department Training Program.

Mayor Swearengin recommended the civilian layoff plan to the City Council.

“We already have too few police officers serving our city,” she said. “It’s not in the best interest of our citizens to drop any further.”

Council must pass the City’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget by June 30.

A copy of the Mayor's PowerPoint presentation to Council is attached.

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