Do Challengers Have the Chops for Simi Valley Budget?

The Simi Valley election this year is critical.  We’ll determine in this election who will be one of the critical decision makers in future Simi Valley budget decisions. And with an economy that’s on the road to recovery, but not yet fully on the up-swing, we need to know if the challengers have what it takes!

Here’s a snippet of a Ventura County Star article describing Simi Valley’s balanced budget. They key players are Simi Valley’s City Management and City Council, including the incumbents in this election.

The Simi Valley City Council has approved a $54.8 million budget, balancing it through a series of savings measures, including compensation reductions and leaving open a number of vacant positions.

City Councilwoman Michelle Foster noted at the council’s meeting Monday night that the budget for fiscal year 2010-11 was balanced without any significant service cuts.

“We don’t take lightly what we had to do tonight, and the impact that it has professionally and personally on so many people” Foster said. “I think our community looks at it and sees that we haven’t had to significantly reduce programs. We definitely have not reduced the level of service that we try to provide to our community.”

Though city expenditures had been projected at $59 million — $4.2 million more than projected revenues — the budget was balanced in large part through a series of “reverse priorities” savings measures, compensation reductions and transferring $1.4 million in building improvement fund money to the city’s general fund.

Nearly $2 million was saved through city department reductions, including leaving vacant more than 10 positions.

The only reduction in the Police Department was to eliminate funding for one vacant traffic services assistant position.

City Manager Mike Sedell, who oversaw the budget process, said police officers and managers throughout city government have taken three-percent cuts in their total compensation packages, which include salary and benefits.

Read the complete article here.

The Simi Valley budget is balanced, and done so without massive layoffs.  Can the challengers really say that our current leadership should be replaced, especially considering Simi Valley is weathering the economic slump better than some cities?  Can Mayoral Candidate Bob Huber and City Council Candidates Mike Judge, Scott Miller and Mitch Green be just as effective or even more effective as the incumbents?

One thought on “Do Challengers Have the Chops for Simi Valley Budget?

  1. Hi Mike,

    I did watch the City Council meeting re the budget process on June 21 and my hat’s off to the council for closing the gap this year. Now is not the time to take pot shots in the face of a job well done.

    I am concerned, however, what plans are in place in case the State of California declines further into its economic morass ala Greece and either fails to come through with monies the City is counting on to close the gap, takes back further city monies ala its seizure of redevelopment funds this year or even just runs out of money and becomes non-functional issuing I.O.U.’s.

    Of course, if you really want to get “out there,” why not include an analysis of what impact, if any, the South East oil volcano disaster in the Gulf of Mexico will have on the U.S. government finances and the trickle down effect to the states and then local municipalities? Good thing the City has ample emergency reserves on hand. And yes, I’m total sober this afternoon as I write this. I have a gut feeling that by the time of the November elections, this issue will reign paramount in the news.

    Regards,

    Mitch Green

    Like

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