SLO City Council finalizes budget

June 22, 2011


After several months of heated budget talks, the San Luis Obispo City Council passed a balanced budget for fiscal years 2011-12 and 2012-13.

The council eliminated a previously existing $4.4 million shortfall in the $99.6 million budget by cutting $2.6 million in city employee salaries and reducing various operating costs.

Despite the closure of the budget gap, the financial plan did not pass unanimously. Council Members Dan Carpenter and Kathy Smith voted against the financial plan, which passed along a 3-2 vote.

“My concern is the next council will look back at some point and say shame on you for not addressing a contingency plan,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter, who said a possible termination of Measure Y could cripple future city budgets, seconded Smith’s motions to increase employee concessions and reduce the July 1, 10 percent increases in water and sewage fees.

He also motioned to cut $600,000 for replacement playground equipment and $237,000 for open space acquisition. Each of these motions failed, as did all other attempts to amend the financial plan.

The council balanced the 2012-13 fiscal year budget at $99.6 million. A 5 percent drop in employee salaries accounts for the largest decrease in expenditures.

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This is the first pain that city employees have felt. Too bad. The rest of us have taken a lot bigger hit than a lousy 5%.

The important thing here is that the city passed a balanced budget. Of course not everyone’s going to be happy. They had to cut and those cut get mad. So do the family and friends of those cut. Welcome to real life. Government’s been living in fantasy land every since the real estate crisis.

Get ready for massive state cuts and even more massive federal cuts. It has to be done. We have no right to take from future generations to maintain our lifestyles. It our problem not our children’s problem.

Does this mean we won’t have our streets torn up and worked on semi-annually anymore?


Well… have you all enjoyed the first PART of your increased water and sewer fees?? Of course if you dropped you consumption by 10-20 % you may not have seen an increase. Eventually, if you use no water at all… you’ll be fine.

Yeah, let’s renew more bond measures… how many computers did this place in schools? New classes in Music, Computer Science and Programing, art ? Hey, with all that money , YOU could have paid for summer school for those who want the ‘enrichment!’ However, I remember when I was told that SLO Coastal doesn’t believe in enrichment. Aint that the truth!

So, I hope more folks will start opening their eyes to see where the city is marching.

BTW, boys and girls… every wonder why food prices, restaurants, hotels and goods and services are so much higher in high tax states like California? Well, taxes are like the rising tide that lifts all boats. Increase the taxes and everything becomes more expensive… very basic economics.

Roger Freberg

Spirit Filled you bring up some good points for sure. Although if you look at public safety employees salaries compared to other departments alot of these folks are breaking the bank with the payroll. I believe in fair compensation although lets be honest this is no metropolitan area were the fire house is running 20 calls a day. I dont think theres that many calls in the city a day. And the binding arbitration the police won is ridiculous for the area we live in I mean really. These type a things cause the trickle down to the other city workers and there pay and benefits. Public safety has been sheltered for years. Things can be more efficient.


Yea take it away from the little guy. Did any of the higher ups take a cut. Doubt it. Obviously they don’t have a Walmart to help out. Well we are not going to give up ours, forget it! 5% could mean the difference between paying the mortgage on their houses or making a truck payment or taking the kids to the show or fishing. Thanks from the city employees, council members! Hope you need a cushion on your wood chairs at your meetings. One of those rubber cushions. You know the ones.

God Bless the employees they are going to need Our Lord even more this year. We all need his blessings including the council members more and more each day.

I meant next year. This was the budget for 2012-2013. Things will increase in price by 2012 I’m sure so the employees are really taking a larger cut than 5%. Way to go council!

The higher ups should be taking a bigger hit 5% is a drop in the bucket for them.