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The Campanile

    City manager proposes plan for increased funding

    fter six years of bud-

    get deficits and service deductions will undergo several reforms. Palo alto

    city manager James Keene proposed a new fiscal budget for 2014. The proposed budget calls for increased funding and revenue for Palo alto’s expenditures, employee pensions and benefits.

    Moreover, City Council expects to see more employee contributions and improved city services after the recent economic boom.

    Much of this economic boom was caused by Palo alto’s large com- mercial projects such as the new renovations of city libraries and other buildings.

    Palo alto’s Planning and Community environment department expects a 48 percent increase due to the large projects and restructuring of a deposit account.

    Peter Pirnejad, director of development services, told Palo alto weekly that the building fees are expected to reach more than 10

    million by the end of 2013 fiscal year and 13.5 million by July 2013.

    City Council will be distributing the newly acquired revenue in a series of different ways that will benefit citi- zens, local business employers and the community alike.

    For example, employee revenue will increase by five percent while employees are contributing more toward their pensions, and positions within the Police department will be reopened. City budget officials expect to have a surplus of $200,000 by the end of the 2014 fiscal year.

    other improvements include a 4.6 percent increase in expendi- tures, added funding to the Police department. in addition, the bud- get plan calls for increased wages for policemen working overtime and added budgets to various City hall departments, such as the offices of the City Clerk, to open new office positions.

    “For the first time since i was here, we’re in a better position as far as what i’m able to recommend to the Council,” Keene said, according to Palo alto weekly. “in a lot of ways, we’re not dealing with the kinds of cutbacks we’ve had to do every year. “

    in addition, the new budget plan will not be proposing any cuts as it had been established in the past. For example, there will not be cutting benefits for animal shelter nor recre- ation programs.

    “i think that signals a more focused and stronger organizational strategy relating to our sustainability initiatives,” Keene said, according to Palo alto weekly.

    City Council expects to see an increase in its own budget, more meetings and paid travel expenses.

    however, there are also oppor- tunity costs with the new office positions, improved services and increased revenues.

    City Council states that they will also be eliminating certain jobs, such as an administrative position in the City Clerk’s office and deputy city manager position along with reduced budgets of the city manager’s office.

    overall, City Council and the city is ecstatic over the new proposed budget plan for 2014. although there are certain reductions in wages and deductions in some jobs, people are nonetheless happy with the future improved customer services, job posi- tions and employee benefits.

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