Is it our imagination or is Santa Clara going broke?
When payrolls climb by millions and revenues remain virtually the same, there is only one outcome. Our budget goes upside down.
The Council’s only alternative to date is to raise taxes, fees and charges for all City services.
The cost of most everything will now cost us more.
“Wait” you say. “What happened to our $50 million in reserves?”
The answer? They will be spent in a few years.
Our City Manager points out that we are on our way to an $18 million to $60 million deficit in five years.
To paraphrase former Senator Everett Dirksen, “A million here, a million there and pretty soon you’re talking about a lot of money.”
Following a virtual two-year moratorium on new construction projects, this Mayor and Council have realized we cannot sustain our lavish spending habits without more revenue.
Therefore, in the last few weeks, the flood gates of construction have once again been opened. Most of these have been approved late into the night at Council when few people are left in attendance or watching online.
However, it may be too late to be the saving salve on the wounds of our construction drought we have endured since Mayor Gillmor was nominated to the Mayor’s chair.
Remember the Related Project? This is the one on the golf course that was going to pump millions into our budget annually. Related has had that property tied up the last four years and have yet to pour one yard of concrete or pay Santa Clara one dime in rent.
You must wonder how many millions has been spent on City staff time trying to get this project out of the ground?
Then this Mayor leads the charge to eliminate four weeknight performances a year at the stadium, which whacked a couple million more out of our revenue stream.
Add a few million in payroll with new high paid employees and you have the recipe for a bucket of RED INK.
So, when in political hot water, attack!
The Mayor has targeted the Chamber of Commerce and their management of the Convention Center and the Convention and Visitors Bureau, making erroneous claims of mismanagement. The Convention Center is making a profit for the City and has enjoyed a 27% increase in revenue year over year for the past nine years.
The CVB is funded by the City with an annual budget of $1.4 million. It is the ONLY marketing department the City has that promotes events and meetings within our community. The Mayor has challenged a $5,000 payment to the Weekly for a series of full page ads promoting Santa Clara awareness of our local companies.
Imagine that? She doesn’t blink when she gives our police force a $3 million pay raise or hires a City Manager for $700,000 a year. But a $5,000 marketing expense comes under intense scrutiny?
This is the kind of thinking that has brought us to the precipice. Only God and our voters can deliver us in November 2018!