There were some tough cuts to be made this year, and there will be more down the line, but the City Council opted to save funding for popular arts and culture programs — things like the Sun Gallery, Hayward Arts Council, Hayward Municipal Band, Russell City Blues Festival — in their budget meeting on Tuesday.
We reported earlier this year that those programs were in jeopardy due to threatened redevelopment funding take. Here’s a story on the latest incarnation of that, as passed by legislature. And here’s the pre-budget meeting story that has a little more information about why the city’s financial situation is what it is. Find the city’s budget presentation PowerPoint here. Other materials can be found on the agenda page here.
While the 211 dial up service was spared, other social service programs took a 17 percent hit. That figure came from an earlier estimate of how much the General Fund would have to be cut, but City Manager Fran David said since then, it has become clear that the situation is more dire. But, she added, cutting further into social services at this time would be no more fair than hitting up city employees now for the estimated 25 to 33 percent in concessions that may be required to stay in the black down the line. The city’s target with the unions is 23 percent over the next three years.