WatchSonoma Watch
State gets $8.75 million in Petaluma redevelopment fight

Petaluma has paid the state $8.75 million after losing a lawsuit over redevelopment tax proceeds that were supposed to go toward the construction of two major Highway 101 interchange projects.

Proposed Petaluma budget reflects increased revenue

Petaluma City Council members appeared pleased – or at least relieved – with the city’s short-term financial outlook Monday during a workshop on the budget.

Petaluma City Council vows to replenish reserve fund

Petaluma City Council members on Monday agreed to put the city on a potentially long and painful — but ultimately more secure — financial track.

Some bright spots in Petaluma’s tight budget

Petaluma’s mid-year budget review again is one of those mixed-message scenarios. The city’s general fund reserves are projected to be about $1.4 million by the end of June, which is a far rosier projection than just a few years ago when the fund had been drained to a few thousand dollars.

Petaluma protests state’s denial of $34 million for city projects

Petaluma is preparing a protest letter to the state in defense of $34 million, mostly in highway construction projects, that the state disqualified for funding with former redevelopment money. The most crucial at-risk plans include two highway interchange projects: at East Washington Street, which is under construction, and at Old Redwood Highway, which is ready to go out for bid.

Petaluma City Council OKs more budget cuts

Petaluma city leaders agreed late Monday to tighten the budget belt one more notch. In another round of cuts that trim about 5 percent from the 2012-13 general fund, the $32.5 million spending plan should maintain priority services and put the city on course to begin rebuilding a rainy day fund.

Petaluma budget woes appear to ease

After four years of painful cost-cutting, Petaluma’s budget remains tight, but new version aims to pay the bills in the coming year without layoffs or requiring concessions from employees.

Sonoma County cities face new pension squeeze

California’s pension system lowered a key estimate of future investment returns Wednesday, a move that will drive up pension costs for cities across Sonoma County and further squeeze public services. The decision will mean yet another hit to beleaguered local budgets as CalPERS jacks up pension contributions by public agencies to make up for lower investment returns.

Petaluma’s new finance director gets down to work

Bill Mushallo, Petaluma’s new finance director, has been busy working on budget issues since taking the helm in Petaluma earlier this month. “It’s not easy, but we’ve got opportunities to get back on track,” he says.