City Staff on Wednesday, May 27, presented a Fiscal Year 2020-21 departmental budget workshop to the City Council, the first of two planned workshops.
The Mayor and four Councilmembers participated in-person, while three Councilmembers participated telephonically.
City department heads presented their budget proposals and projections – taking into account lower expected revenues due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Public health and safety measures the nation, state, county and City have taken have impacted the City’s projected revenues for general sales tax as well as the Public Safety & Vital Services Measure (Measure N) and other City revenue streams. However, thanks to the City’s history of conservative budgeting, there are no staffing reductions included in the City’s budget proposals.
The Council received an Overall Budget presentation, as well as presentations from the City Manager’s Office, the City Attorney’s Office, the Bakersfield Police and Fire Departments, Visit Bakersfield, Finance, and the Mechanics Bank Arena, Theater & Convention Center. These proposals are available to the public and can be viewed here.
Included in the proposal are 29 new sworn positions in the Bakersfield Police Department along with 13 positions in the Bakersfield Fire Department. Also included are $7.3 million for new affordable housing, the addition of 11 new Rapid Response Team members through PSVS and more than $200,000 in improvements at the Arena, Theater & Convention Center.
A second Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget workshop for the remaining City departments is planned for June 8. A public hearing on the budget proposal is planned for June 10 with the final budget adoption expected on June 24.
As always, anyone can view the City’s budget – revenues and expenditures down to a minute level – through the City’s Open Budget tool.