Upland Delays Budget Adoption As Effort To Ensure Surplus Continues

(June 28)  UPLAND–The Upland City Council this week postponed ratification of the 2013-14 fiscal year budget, signaling that the city’s department heads have not trimmed a sufficient degree of spending from their respective spending plans for the city to meet city manager Stephen Dunn’s goal of salting away $1.5 million into reserve accounts.
Dunn, who was the city’s finance director before he was elevated to city manager, told the Sentinel earlier this month that he is confident the city will receive roughly $40 million in revenue in the twelve months between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 and can meet the goal he has imposed on the city’s department heads of holding overall operating expenditures to $38.5 million. He said at that time he anticipated bringing the final budget to the city council at its last meeting in June.  At the council’s last June meeting on Monday, however, Dunn told the council, “The budget is not ready to be presented. I’m hoping to present it by July 9.”
Dunn told the Sentinel that more than two months ago he instructed the city’s department heads to start with the assumption that the city will have roughly the same amount of general fund money in the upcoming year – $40 million – that it had in the current fiscal year.  He told the department heads his goal was to have the city build a $1.5 million reserve into the budget.
The department heads returned in early May, Dunn said “with $1.8 million more in expenditures than the $40 million in expected revenue.”  Subsequently, Dunn said, adjustments were made and as of the first week of June, he said “We were at a breakeven point, with revenues matching expenditures.” Dunn sent the city’s top staff back to work, hoping they would collectively reduce spending across the board to meet the goal of $1.5 million in further reductions. His terse statement to the council in public on Monday indicated the department heads had yet to meet his mandate.
To allow the city to continue into the new fiscal year, the council at Dunn’s request approved a resolution continuing funding for the fiscal year ending June 30 until the 2013-14 budget is ready. That entailed a short term $923,000 loan from the city’s water fund to the general fund.
In nearly concluded 2012-13, Upland functioned on a balanced general fund budget that took in $39.8 million in revenues matched by $39.8 million in expenditures.

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