The Budget Committee will meet this week to consider the City Manager’s General Fund budget recommendations (see them at www.eugene-or.gov/budget). The committee will take feedback about the recommendations during the public comment time at the beginning of the meeting on Wednesday, March 5, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The two Budget Committee meetings this week are at Harris Hall in the Lane County Service Building:
- Wednesday, March 5, 6:00 p.m.
- Thursday, March 6, 5:30 p.m.
The fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014 will be the sixth consecutive year the City of Eugene will reduce expenditures to balance the budget. For the last several years, largely as a result of the recession and low property tax revenues, the City of Eugene has faced deficits in its General Fund, the “discretionary” fund that pays for police, fire, parks, library and other basic City services. Over four years, the City decreased its expenses by $24 million and eliminated 100 positions in order to live within its means.
After years of reductions, the challenge of finding new ways to solve the problem without impacting services is extremely difficult. In developing the City Manager’s recommended strategies, the City’s executive management team followed the same principles that have been used over the last five years: to maintain a balance of services across all of the Council’s goals, minimize employee layoffs, achieve a stable budget and continue to invest in the community’s future.
The Budget Committee has worked over the past seven months to gain a deeper understanding of the City’s General Fund budget shortfall through talking with community members, studying previous City reductions and analyzing a wide range of possible strategies. The committee presented six options for public review and held two public hearings on those options in January.
The City Manager’s General Fund recommendations draw from the extensive work of the Budget Committee over the last several months as well as from the professional experience of the City’s executive management team.
Additional Budget Committee meetings will be scheduled in April for consideration of the full City Manager’s Proposed Budget.
For more information on Budget Committee meetings visit the website: www.eugene-or.gov/budget.