The Town Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2010/11 Operating and Capital Budgets on October 6, 2010. The budget adoption was later than usual in part because the Council had to balance the $205,000 deficit. The General Fund Operating budget is $6.901 million down from $6.988 million the prior year. Estimated revenues for property taxes are 2% less than last year and have been flat or lower than previous years for the last three years. This loss coupled with sales tax losses amounts to a loss of about $125,000 in revenue just over last fiscal year.
To balance the FY 2010/11 several vacant positions were left unfilled for several extra months to save money. For the second straight year, employees throughout the Town did not receive any cost of living adjustments. Most employees have lost compensation as they are paying a portion of their retirement costs out of their pocket which started over a year ago. All operating budgets (materials and supplies) in the Town have been cut 4% over the last two years as another necessary measure to balance the budget.
The Council will be holding a Fiscal Sustainability Workshop on November 17, 2010 to discuss eliminating the structural deficit in the budget which will include further cuts to the budget through a reorganization of the Town staff. This Council Workshop will include a discussion of escalating retirement and health care costs and the possibility of a further partnership with employees to share the burden with the Town to pay for these escalating costs. A discussion of new revenue sources will also factor into the five year fiscal sustainability plan.
Other actions taken at the Regular Meeting on October 6, 2010:
• Accepted the audit of the FY 2008/09 financial statements.
• Heard a presentation from Rachel DeMicco of Sustainable Fairfax on the concept of installing a rain garden for Town Hall. Council directed staff to work with Sustainable Fairfax on creating a rain garden next to Town Hall.
• Received an update on the Marin County 680 Trail from Chris Bramham, Superintendent Capital Projects, Parks and Open Space Department of Marin County. The project is in environmental review.
• Appointed Jacob Feickert and Jolie Egert to the Open Space Committee.
• Appointed Megan Cohen to the Volunteer Board.
• Adopted resolutions supporting Measure A (Local Quality Education School Measure), Measure B (Ten Dollar Vehicle Registration Fee for Transportation Improvements), Measure D (Continuation of the Paramedic Authority Special Tax), and Proposition 19 (Regulate, Control and Tax Cannibas Act of 2010).
• Adopted a resolution supporting funding for preliminary engineering study for the East-West (Cross Marin) Bicycle Corridor.
• Adopted a resolution revising the Master Fee schedule. New fees will take effect on November 8, 2010. New Fees are posted at the Town’s website www.townoffairfax.org in the agenda packet for the October 6th meeting as Item 17.
• Adopted an ordinance implementing a temporary moratorium on the establishment of marijuana dispensaries within the Town of Fairfax. This ordinance is in effect for 45 days and will return to the Council at the November 3, 2010 meeting for consideration to extend the moratorium. The Town Council directed staff to develop proper criteria for evaluating proposed dispensaries and bring this newly developed criteria to Council for consideration.
• Conducted a first reading of Ordinance 755, changing the regular Council meeting time from 7:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A second reading and adoption of the ordinance will be considered on November 3, 2010.