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Cloverdale faces surplus now, deficit later

Nina Regor

By CLARK MASON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

On the positive side, Cloverdale expects to have a slight surplus in its $5.2 million general fund at the end of this budget year, following an earlier prediction of a $69,000 shortfall.

But the negative news is that over the next five years, the forecast is for growing deficits each year — even larger than projected in late April, the last time city officials crunched the numbers.

The deficit at the end of 2012-13 could be $341,000 and by June 2016, it is projected to be $2.3 million.

For a city with only a token reserve fund of $30,000, it’s a sobering picture.

“It’s a cautionary tale,” City Manager Nina Regor said Wednesday, adding that the forecast is not necessarily an accurate prediction.

“You can increase revenues, or decrease expenditures, or have a combination of the two,” she said.

For now, revenues are down, primarily because of lower property taxes, as well as decreased transfers into the general fund from other sources.

While sales and property tax revenues may increase slightly in the next few years — at around 2 percent — the money apparently won’t be enough to offset other costs.

Employee salaries and benefits are expected to keep increasing at 5 percent annually.

Regor’s report presented to the City Council on Wednesday is the basis for a draft 2011-12 budget the council will consider at its Sept. 28 meeting.

With some tentative concessions from Cloverdale’s 45 employees, the general fund is expected to be in the black for the fiscal year ending next June.

“Although not finalized, we have been negotiating with employees on various concessions, primarily pertaining to sharing in the cost of premiums for medical insurance and for sharing in the cost of PERS (pension) contributions,” she said.

Over the past several years, Cloverdale trimmed its workforce by 18 percent as sales and property taxes plummeted.

City employees have not had raises for more than a year and no cost-of-living increases are proposed in the new, two-year contracts with employee groups.

Regor said she plans to leave a couple of positions vacant, including for a city utility worker and a police dispatcher.





3 Responses to “Cloverdale faces surplus now, deficit later”

  1. Out with the Old says:

    Government mentality never ceases to amaze! Poor Cloverdale city employees haven’t had a raise in a year. Try five, six and seven years in the private sector for too many employees.

    Now their going to get a 5% raise. Well, the tears just keep coming.

    These bureaucrats are so out of it, they appear to have just landed on mother earth. Where have they been for the last 6 years?

    I know, they are all in the pocket of the girls that put them in the dance, the public sector unions. Its the script that is written for them by their minders, the union bosses.

    It time for Californians to take our government back from the public unions. We need to return to the civil service system and end union domination of our city and county governments.

    Until a change is made, cities and counties like Cloverdale will continue to errode basic services and our basic public services like road maintenance will continue to decline.

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  2. RAW says:

    The law requires the employees to be part of the pension system. They can’t just say, “No more”, to save money. Doomsday screamers ommitt that fact, that with required participation, there will always be people paying into the funds at an increasing rate.

    The part that goes up without control is health insurance rates. There are only a few local plans to choose from. Many won’t touch California, for obvious political and unfriendly business reasons. You are left with few choices and increasing costs.

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  3. Jim says:

    “Employee salaries and benefits are expected to keep increasing at 5 percent annually”

    THEN STOP THEM FROM RISING!

    If this were a business, the business would go bankrupt. To stop that from happening, it would CUT employees, NOT give raises, END pensions…but this isn’t a business, it is a government that doesn’t care that the money they spend isn’t theirs.

    When will this stop? They know it is coming yet they do nothing. No cuts. No elimination of pensions. They don’t care because they can just tax the people more.

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