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Inman: Budget will balance, with a reserve

June 07, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — According to the preliminary budget released by this city's Finance Department on Thursday, there might not be enough money to pay for every item on the City Council's wish list.

City Manager Richard Inman said, however, the general fund will be balanced and the city will have a healthy reserve account if it follows his recommendations.

The city could end up with $73,357 in its general fund at the end of the 2003 fiscal year, according to the preliminary budget released by Finance Director Veronica Alvarado.


She cautioned, "But that's without adding any new positions."

Inman said this morning he is recommending the city spend $63,000 of that $73,357 in salaries for three new firefighter/paramedics, a project inspector and an operation maintenance supervisor for the Streets, Shop and Parks Department.

Inman said the project inspector position would pay for itself.

Inman said there would be about $10,000 left in the general fund after the salaries were paid.

He expects there to be $1.06 million in the city's reserve fund, which would be a "healthy" 8 percent of the general fund.

To pay for some new city staffers in addition to those recommended by Inman the council would have to trim fat from its list of preliminary appropriations, which right now totals $12.6 million.

Alvarado expects the city to take in $11.6 million in revenue in the next fiscal year.

The council can approve spending more than it plans to take in, but not much more, since the beginning balance on Aug. 1 will be about $1.1 million.

On Tuesday, the council will tweak the preliminary budget numbers and have Alvarado and Inman bring another draft for final approval.

Mayor John Renison said he hopes to approve a final budget before the end of the month.

At this week's council meeting, the council asked questions of Alvarado about the projected budgets for specific departments.

For instance, the council wanted to know why the Planning Department budget jumps 47 percent next year.

Alvarado said the department has hired a new planner. The jump takes into consideration his salary and benefits package.

The jump doesn't take into consideration a raise for Planning Director Ricardo Hinojosa however, Alvarado said Thursday.

Hinojosa told the council Tuesday his salary is not in line with his fellow department heads.

He called his situation "unfair" and "unjust."

Hinojosa said he tried to voice his concerns in a less public manner before airing the beef publicly.

The council said it would consider his salary request in the coming weeks.

Inman said the city might have more money in its general fund at the beginning of August that it has anticipated.

After that number is finally know, Inman said all requests, including Hinojosa's could then be considered.

Renison said the council also needs to consider hiring a manager to spearhead the revitalization of the city's downtown and he would like to see the police chief submit a proposal for an incentive package that would be offered to new Calexico police officers.

Inman said there is money for a project manager in the budget already.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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