City staff and the City Council will meet this Friday and Saturday, September 23-24, for a strategic planning workshop to help plan for the FY24/25 budget. Both days of meetings will be available for community members to watch and listen to.
To provide the City Council with information to consider prior to the strategic planning process, the preliminary results of a community survey conducted this summer were presented to Council during their work session on Wednesday, September 21. The survey was conducted to help City leadership determine how best to support the community and the organization’s goals and to help with future budget decision making.
The Eugene City Council received a financial update at its Wednesday, September 14, work session that showed the City’s current expenses outweigh its revenues. The City has a forecasted General Fund gap of an estimated $10 million over multiple fiscal years. The economy, inflation, PERS rates, and an increased need for services are some of the contributing factors for the gap.
“We have a responsibility to keep the City financially sound to maintain essential services for the community, and we have a history of doing just that while maintaining a reasonable reserve for unforeseen circumstances,” said City Manager Sarah Medary. “This isn’t surprising news – we’ve been forecasting it for years and worked hard to not overreact during the pandemic – and we are taking steps to make strategic investments and adapt to new priorities.”
The City is taking several steps to address the current budget outlook and help understand the community’s top priorities.
- The FY23 budget stabilized the organization as we moved toward a 2-year budget cycle. A biennial cycle provides time to engage the community and Council in setting direction for the organization.
- In addition to the biennial budget cycle, the City is adopting a new process called Priority Based Budgeting. This process allows staff to evaluate the City’s service system and align with Council goals and community priorities, while providing a framework for strategic budget decisions.
- The City recently conducted a communitywide survey for the first time in a decade. Survey responses were shared with the council in a work session on Wednesday, September 21, and results will be available online.
- City staff and the City Council are meeting on September 23-24 for a Strategic Planning Workshop. The workshop will be informed by the results of the 2022 Community Survey, the City’s current financial condition and workforce. Both days will be available for community members to watch and listen into, and the community will be included in future discussions of the strategic planning process.
More information is to come on all the initiatives listed above. The City aims to conduct an engaging and transparent process for the community, City Council, and staff.