Last Updated on November 7, 2022 by admin
BY KYLE MARTIN AND SARA TABIN
Every day Submit Employees Author
Members of Palo Alto Metropolis Council mentioned they wish to prioritize metropolis providers reminiscent of firefighters and libraries over capital tasks amid income shortfalls from the pandemic.
“The notion out of the group is, ‘Why are we placing up massive buildings? Why don’t we reduce on a few of our infrastructure and put extra again into the providers which are going again into the group.’ And I feel we must always take heed to that,” Councilwoman Liz Kniss mentioned at Monday evening’s council assembly. “Massive infrastructure we are able to come again to, however I wish to know: how can we save these hearth positions?”
Three hearth division positions is perhaps reduce due to finances shortfalls. Kniss mentioned she needs town to make use of attrition, the place retiring firefighters aren’t changed, as an alternative of letting to youthful firefighters to save lots of hearth positions.
Nonetheless, town will proceed constructing a $106 million, 48,917-square-foot police station at 250 Sherman Ave. Most of this 12 months’s metropolis council candidates instructed the Submit that capital tasks needs to be reduce or delayed to unencumber funds for metropolis providers.
Gross sales tax that town of Palo Alto acquired from eating places dropped by 51% for the second quarter of this 12 months in comparison with the identical interval in 2019, as companies was crushed by the coronavirus lockdown, in response to a report back to council. General, town’s gross sales tax income fell from $9.three million within the second quarter of 2019 to $6.1 million on this 12 months’s second quarter, a 34% lower.
Chief Monetary Officer Kiely Nostril mentioned no extra cuts to the finances are wanted right now. She mentioned town will revisit finances suggestions once more earlier than the top of the 12 months.
“That is all just about assuming there isn’t a second wave (of COVID),” Nostril instructed the council Monday. Although she mentioned there may very well be a second wave of COVID circumstances.
An uptick in circumstances might hurt companies which might additional lower metropolis income.
Councilwoman Lydia Kou requested if there’s nonetheless a hiring freeze within the metropolis. Metropolis Supervisor Ed Shikada mentioned that’s principally true, however there are a few important positions exempt from the freeze.
Water therapy jobs needing specialised, around-the-clock operations, in addition to extra public works positions “that may be essential if left unfilled” are additionally exempt from town’s de facto hiring freeze right now, in response to Rumi Portillo, town’s Human Sources director.
The town has already spent $46.9 million typically funds — greater than double town’s income consumption of $26.5 million from this fiscal 12 months.