FAIRFIELD — Street maintenance, code enforcement, lobbying activities and Fairfield Center for Creative Arts activities are some of the Fairfield services facing reductions because of the city’s latest budget problems.
A list with $5.5 million in proposed cuts is going to the City Council for possible action Tuesday. The council meets at 6 p.m. in its chamber at 1000 Webster St.
“These are desperate times,” Vice Mayor Rick Vaccaro said Thursday. “These are desperate times right now.”
Fairfield proposes to cut 8.5 full-time positions and 25 part-time positions. The proposed cuts released Thursday by the city include:
The City Council could pass the staff recommendations. Or it could decide to come up with some alternate budget cuts of its own.
“I always look for alternatives if it means saving somebody’s job,” Vaccaro said. “I don’t know if there are any other alternatives at this point.”
Also Tuesday, the council will consider declaring a fiscal emergency. That would allow it to place a sales tax measure on the November ballot. Without such a declaration, Fairfield would have to wait until its next regular municipal elections in 2013 to have a ballot measure.
The council has yet to decide if it wants to go ahead with a sales tax measure. City Council members John Mraz and Catherine Moy are on a City Council subcommittee exploring the possibility.
“It’s just the first step of the process,” Quinn said.
But a city report said still more cuts would be needed unless the city can get more revenues. Among the possibilities are eliminating most if not all code enforcement and crime-, drug- and gang-prevention activities, eliminating most if not all street maintenance, reducing fire services, closing or severely limiting operating hours at such community facilities as the Fairfield Senior Center and the Sports Center and Aquatics Complex at Allan Witt Park, and outsourcing all of the city’s planning and building activities.
“I know no one likes taxes, but we need it,” Vaccaro said. “We’ve never been in a situation like this before, but we’re in it now. . . . I know it’s not something people want to hear, but it’s a reality at this point and people have to understand that.”
Fairfield’s latest fiscal challenges come in the wake of California’s decision to dissolve redevelopment agencies as of Feb. 1. Redevelopment agency money is no longer available to pay part or all of some salaries or repay million of dollars in loans to the city general fund.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or firstname.lastname@example.org.