July 24, 2017

The FY 2018 Budget Story

The City Manager’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 does what it’s supposed to do.  It’s structurally balanced, meets all established parameters, and is guided by the City Council’s adopted Priorities within the constraints suggested by conservative fiscal forecasting.  It’s a good budget that reflects the City’s solid financial position and continued prudent management for the coming fiscal year.  (The proposed budget and accompanying presentation slides are on the City website, here.)

The proposed budget also tells the macro level story of where things stand right now, both the progress we’ve made in recent years and the challenges that lie ahead.  No, the sky is not falling, but we are paying careful attention to the numbers and how they’re trending.  To understand the FY 2018 budget in context, start with the ending General Fund balance and work backwards from there; as we’ve steadily drawn down that balance over the past several years our policy of maintaining a 60-day minimum has become our primary constraint.  Emphasizing these are conservative projections, the trend is readily apparent: