Measure H promises to maintain public safety funding with an increased utility tax. Is there a catch?
The City of Santa Cruz has been in reduction mode for 10 years. They employ 110 fewer full-time staff than they did in 2000, and most of the current employees have taken voluntary 10 percent pay cuts, not to mention furloughs. The city has cut spending across the board, and altogether axed funding for services like the Teen Center, Beach Flats Community Center and Harvey West Park.
And yet they continue to face a massive budget deficit.
Before retiring earlier this year, former City Manager Richard Wilson issued a budget memorandum to the city council predicting a $2 million deficit for the 2011 Fiscal Year. But that figure has continued to grow and is now closer to $5 million, says new City Manager Martin Bernal.