Lodi City Coun­cil ap­proves $59.6 mil­lion bud­get

Lodi News-Sentinel - - PAGE TWO - By John Bays NEWS-SENTINEL STAFF WRITER

The Lodi City Coun­cil on Wed­nes­day voted 4-0 to ap­prove the city’s $59.6 mil­lion bud­get for the 2019-20 fis­cal year. Coun­cil­man Alan Nakan­ishi was ab­sent.

The bud­get in­cluded ap­prox­i­mately $5.2 mil­lion in funds from Mea­sure L, a half-cent sales tax passed by Lodi vot­ers last Novem­ber. Mea­sure L took ef­fect on April 1, in­creas­ing the lo­cal sales tax rate to 8.25 per­cent.

An es­ti­mated $4.9 mil­lion will be spent from Mea­sure L funds, ac­cord­ing to Deputy City Man­ager An­drew Keys, in­clud­ing ap­prox­i­mately $2.2 mil­lion, which will be used both to hire a new li­brar­ian at a cost of $98,080 and to main­tain ex­ist­ing jobs in the po­lice and fire de­part­ments.

“Thir­teen po­si­tions were main­tained that other­wise would have had to go away,” Keys said.

The bud­get also in­cluded sev­eral new po­si­tions that will be cov­ered by the city’s gen­eral fund, such as a full­time com­mu­nity ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Although the com­mu­nity ser­vice rep­re­sen­ta­tive will cost $74,870, there will be a net zero cost to the city due to a re­cent re­duc­tion in part-time staff, Keys said.

“We re­cently had a re­cruit­ment, and we have a nice lit­tle list of qual­i­fied peo­ple we can pull from,” he said.

The Lodi Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment De­part­ment will spend an ad­di­tional $191,320 on salary and ben­e­fits dur­ing the 2019-20 fis­cal year with the ad­di­tion of a new neigh­bor­hood ser­vices man­ager.

Ac­cord­ing to City Man­ager Steve Sch­wabauer, the neigh­bor­hood ser­vices man­ager — cur­rently a con­tracted po­si­tion — su­per­vises the Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Block Grant pro­gram, Gang Re­duc­tion In­ter­ven­tion and Pre­ven­tion pro­gram, and Lodi Im­prove­ment Com­mit­tee, and also works with lo­cal non­prof­its.

The neigh­bor­hood ser­vices man­ager used to be a full-time city em­ployee, Sch­wabauer said; the cur­rent con­trac­tor is only avail­able 3 1/2 days a week, for nearly the same cost as a full-time em­ployee.

“It was an ex­per­i­ment. I had hoped it would work,” Sch­wabauer said. “It didn’t, so I’m rec­om­mend­ing that we move back.”

When City Coun­cil­woman JoAnne Mounce asked who will fill the po­si­tion, Sch­wabauer said he plans to hold a re­cruit­ment to find the best pos­si­ble can­di­date. Mounce in­sisted that the can­di­date be bilin­gual, as they will work closely with pro­grams in Lodi’s Her­itage Dis­trict.

“I wouldn’t even con­sider some­one who wasn’t bilin­gual, be­cause of how cul­tur­ally divers that area is,” she said.

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