For city employees, the sour financial climate for the city will likely mean cuts to pay and benefits, unpaid days off and possibly lay-off notices to anywhere from 50 to 120 city employees by 2013.
For people who live in Tracy, the city that has already raised some fees could do so again — with the City Council on Tuesday poised to consider charging up to $300 when the fire department shows up to a medical call.
The summary of the proposed budget released Thursday by City Manager Leon Churchill is punctuated with bleak financial forecasts and shows sales and property tax revenues that are off 20 percent in the past two years. Unless drastic cuts are made, the city would spend $14 million more than it takes in by 2012.
Tracy plans to use $7.4 million of its reserves to balance its budget in the 2009-10 fiscal year, leaving it with $25.4 million in the bank, down from $38.7 million just two years ago.
Tracy projects a $53.8 million general fund, the piece of its budget that pays for the city’s 535 employees. Overall, Tracy has a projected $160.8 million budget.
Tracy is negotiating with its employee unions and what they call “bargaining units,” groups of employees that are paid under one contract but without the status of a union.
The council is also being asked to ditch its “no employee layoff” policy and is trying to negotiate with employees for concessions. Some managers are set to swallow furloughs that will cut their pay by 3 percent, and department heads will likely take an additional 5 percent pay cut.
But the city has yet to work out an agreement with the Teamsters union, which represents about 150 city workers, who are being asked to voluntarily take pay cuts before their contracts expire.
Even with concessions, the city might be forced to end its roughly $1 million subsidy to the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts and turn over the downtown theater to a nonprofit.
The city might also have to consider ending the Mayor’s Community Support Youth Network, which tries to help kids but costs the city $1 million a year.
And it could consider asking voters to vote for a parcel tax at $150 per property, as well as an annual $100 landscape tax, which together could bring the city nearly $.5 million.
• To reach City Editor Eric Firpo: 830-4232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.