Jul 30, 2014

Wildomar City Council Accepts $6.8 Million Budget, 2 Posts

The council also unanimously approved a proposal to create permanent posts for a Planning Director and manager of Community Services.

Wildomar City Council Accepts $6.8 Million Budget, 2 Posts

The Wildomar City Council with very little discussion on Wednesday approved a $6.8 million budget and agreed to create the permanent post of Planning Director and Community Services Manager.

"I think we need those two positions to move along," said during the meeting.

The council will decide at a later date whether to appoint the current, contracted employees to the permanent posts or to advertise and go through a vetting process to find candidates to fill the positions.

Councilman expressed his desire to see a hiring process used to find the best person qualified for each position.

He also said he wanted city staff to show him the money -- the exact amount of funds saved by making the positions full-time rather than the contracted positions they are currently.

"I'd like to ... visit the conservative approach," Cashman said, adding that when the city incorporated three years ago, contracting managerial staff positions was the best road to take.

"It's been a very successful model," Cashman said.

Councilman said he likes the contracting system as well, but for middle management, not so much for heads of departments.

In the end, the council agreed that the time has come to begin setting up departments that can help residents and developers alike on a full-time basis.

The council also looked at a wish list of projects that were not included in the budget but could be inserted at a later date.

This includes a program that would create LED signage for the city and also a comprehensive LED ordinance.

Those issues will be discussed at the June council meeting.

In presenting the budget to the council, City Manager Frank Oviedo told that body that the budget was not too different from this year's finance plan and there was not much wiggle room between revenues and expenditures.

The expenditures for 2012-13 are estimated at $6.8 million, which will leave about $144,000 in the General Fund.

Coupled with this year's General Fund surplus, the city should see an end of year safety net of about $511,189, Oviedo said.

Oviedo said that it is time for the council to set the tone for the direction the city will take, with Wildomar either "treading water or building a new paradigm for government."

During the entire meeting and especially the budget presentation, city staff bemoaned the loss of millions of dollars in vehicle licensing fees.

As part of the state budget package Governor Jerry Brown signed into law June 30, 2011, a total $130 million in vehicle license fee revenues were chopped out of city budgets statewide.

Four new cities in Riverside County -- including Wildomar -- are collectively facing nearly $15 million in revenue losses because of the last-minute state budget provision.

Wildomar incorporated with the belief that the lion's share of revenues to the city would come from vehicle licensing fees and now finds itself without a safety net.

To read more about the revenue loss, please click here.

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