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Pasadena In Focus
July - August 2011

Budget Plan Preserves Our Fiscal Health

A new fiscal year began July 1. As the economy struggles to recover, the city of Pasadena remains committed to a five-year plan to eliminate the gap between income and expenses. With a strategy created in 2009, Pasadena is aiming to wipe out the structural deficit in the General Fund which, if left unchecked, would have grown to more than $28.5 million annually by summer 2014.
The overall Fiscal Year 2012 recommended budget is $776.7 million, which includes an operating budget of $622.1 million and a capital expenditure plan of $154.6 million. Of that, the recommended General Fund operating budget is $215.8 million. Revenues for the General Fund, which supports general city services such as police, fire, parks, recreation and libraries, are estimated at $211 million. The use of $4.8 million in savings to balance the budget is consistent with the revised 2014 Financial Plan.
The following tables provide a comparison of the expense activity that actually occurred in FY 2010, was originally adopted for FY 2011 and recommended for FY 2012 for the General Fund and all city funds, as well as a summary of full-time equivalent positions.
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Fiscal realities will require Pasadena to continue to employ measures that will have some impact on service levels. Examples of these impacts include continuing with the closure of some library branches on Fridays and Saturdays and the elimination of ARTS Route 70. Pasadena has focused on maintaining or even enhancing services where possible. With cooperation from city employees, this has been done while reducing citywide staffing levels by 286 positions since FY 2009. Additionally, the smart reorganization of several programs to save money and boost efficiency and, in line with the five-year plan, the limited use of the city’s reserves to make up for revenue shortages in the city’s General Fund has helped ease impacts on service levels. One reorganizational example is the Police Department, which reduced staffing by 24 positions in three years through the elimination of vacancies and special units that resulted in more officers assigned to patrol.
The FY 2012 budget also focuses on the city’s aging infrastructure. The FY 2012 to 2016 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) includes 204 active projects with a total estimated cost of $947.6 million. The FY 2012 capital budget includes appropriations for 88 projects, including 14 new projects at an estimated cost of $154.6 million.
The FY 2012 recommended budget reflects the city council priorities of protecting the city’s financial health, preserving our public facilities and infrastructure, promoting sustainability, improving mobility and accessibility throughout the city, nurturing our local economy and ensuring public safety.
Most important, the plan is designed to help Pasadena forge its way through tough economic times while preserving superior public services for residents, the business community and visitors.
For detailed information on the recommended budget, call 744-4355 or visit www.cityofpasadena.net/finance.