order to balance its budget, a practice city officials across
California railed against during this year's state budget crisis.
In exchange for the guarantee, cities agreed to let the state use
local funds for the next two years, when the state expects to ride an
improving economy into fiscal certainty.
La Canada Flintridge will give up $400,000 over the next two
years, as part of that agreement with the state. Beginning in 2006,
however, the state will pay that sum back.
The hit is not that serious, City Manager Mark Alexander said.
"That is something we can handle. Especially since the state will
return that money beginning in 2006," he said. "All this means is
that we will have to defer some projects.
"But we no longer have to wonder about the what-ifs. We have more
stability in our ability to plan for the future. In the past, we
never knew how much the state was going to take, and now we know."
City staffers have designed two budgets during the past two fiscal
years, including a reduced budget that anticipated how much the state
would take from the city, along with a regular city budget.
More than $2.5 million in capital projects have been deferred
since the 2002-03 fiscal year, including street resurfacing, old town
improvements, beautification projects and upgrades to City Hall.
Residents can expect those projects to begin moving out at a
quicker pace, Mayor Laura Olhasso said.
"There are a list of projects that add to the quality of life of
the residents that will move forward on an accelerated pace," she