City Hall is Sending Mixed Messages

From the City's Budget:
The City's new budget, passed in July, contains a surplus to be used in the case of fiscal difficulties. Here is the description straight from the budget document. We have highlighted the key passage:

The General Fund has a projected unreserved balance of $10,258,695 for fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. The fund balance decreases to $9,415,190 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012. The reserve for contingencies remains at $8.3 million. The contingency is necessary because Pleasant Hill is so dependent on sales tax, 33% of the total General Fund revenues. If there were a recession or the City suffered the loss of one or more of the major retailers, Pleasant Hill’s financial position would be significantly affected."

We are asking the City: if we are in a recession and the purpose of the reserve is to provide funding lost due to the recession, why are we not using it? Why try to install a permanent tax increase to make up for a temporary financial setback?

Councilman Durant seems to argue in favor of using the surplus to balance the budget:

"Although Councilman David Durant agreed that the economic uncertainty the city faces makes budgeting difficult, he is reassured by the healthy $9.4 million reserve fund the city expects to have at the end of fiscal year 2011-12. "They're there for a rainy day and this is a rainy day," he said."

From the report pushing for the new taxes: 
"Last month (July), the City Council approved a $37 million two-year budget that has deficits in both years. The budget eliminated three part-time jobs and froze 22 vacant positions, including several top management posts."

And yet the City somehow has money available to loan to people who want to install solar panels?? Click here to see.