By a vote of 4 to 2, the AVCA Board approved this motion

Position of Bob Boydston, AVCA Board Member, voting in favor of the motion

For a ninth year in a row the City is faced with a budget deficit.† For the coming year it is projected to be $116 Million, the highest ever.† This situation is clearly not sustainable.† Continuation of deficits may mean reduced credit ability and ultimately the threat of bankruptcy.

The remedy is a reduction in the cost of service and/or the reduction of services and/or an increase in revenue.

Letís take revenue first.† The City gets revenue from real estate taxes, sales taxes, hotel occupancy taxes, known as TOT, and fees such as parking fees.† Housing prices are down, people are spending less and saving more and business is traveling less.† This may be a permanent trend.† Increased fees can not make up the difference.† Not much hope for a revenue increase. †

That leaves reducing the cost of services or reducing services.

Service reductions would include things like reducing the number of police and fire personnel, less library hours, elimination of park rangers, reduced grants for the arts and animal shelters, etc.

The reduction of the cost of services is the most attractive. As pointed out before, 75% of the cost of services is labor under eleven labor contracts.† Over one third of city employees make in excess of $100,000 per year.† Some of these people will retire at the age of 50 with 90% of their highest income with a 3% COLA and free medical.† Almost 300 retired employees also get over $100,000 per year.

The City wants to reduce its labor contracts, but is up against strong unions.† The City Manager, Debra Figone, has said that the City needs strong backing from the public to help counter this.† Where will public backing come from?† It will come from community organizations such as AVCA.