Sullivan: 2010 budget focuses on essential services, economic stability
Proposed budget designed to minimize impact on services to the public
10/2/2009 | Contact: Sarah Erkmann, (907) 343-7103
Mayor Dan Sullivan today provided an overview of the proposed 2010 budget to members of the Anchorage Assembly following weeks of discussion and financial analysis with city executives and department heads.
At approximately $421 million, the proposed budget makes substantial spending reductions while continuing to meet the city’s essential needs.
Administration officials looked for savings in each department in an effort to bridge the gap between expenses and revenues. Many departments were able to realize savings by reducing administrative duties or consolidating responsibilities; the goal, as articulated by the mayor, was to minimize service impacts to citizens.
Because of the size of the budget gap, reductions in personnel were inevitable. Many of the positions identified for layoff involved middle management or clerical personnel. Wherever possible, front line public safety and service delivery positions are preserved. In addition, rolling closures of the city’s individual fire apparatus, which were implemented by the former administration, will cease in 2010.
Several factors posed challenges to the 2010 budget, including a decline in revenues from tourism and new construction, pay raises mandated by the municipal labor contracts and obligatory contributions to the police and fire retirement fund.
“This was a challenging budget to formulate, but I’m confident that it reflects our spending priorities,” said Mayor Sullivan. “We are preserving public safety and critical services like snow removal while reducing the amount of the overall budget compared to the 2009 revised budget. The proposed budget is approximately $30 million less than a continuation budget over last year.”
“More importantly, this year’s budget guides the city towards a path of economic stability,” Sullivan continued. “In the past six years, property taxes increased by 36 percent; voter-approved debt service increased by 29 percent; public safety personnel costs increased 58 percent; and other personnel costs increased 36 percent. We believe the 2010 budget is a reasonable plan to get spending back in line with what the city can afford.”
“I am proud of the city’s department directors, who looked critically within their departments to find meaningful reductions that would result in savings without diminishing community priorities.”