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Q&A: City answers questions about proposed budget for Citrus Heights

Sentinel staff report–
Are salary increases for city staff, or funding for road repaving included in the proposed budget for Citrus Heights? The city’s answers to those questions and more are included below.

In response to a series of six budget-related questions asked last week by The Sentinel, the city in an email Tuesday responded with additional details and clarifications on what’s proposed in the two-year budget, covering years 2021-2023.

Answers are included below in their entirety, attributed to the city’s interim administrative services director:

Q: Why do expenses in year two of the budget (2022-23) drop to $36.7M, down from $39M in 2021-22?

A: The last revenue neutrality payment of $6.3 million is included in FY 2021-22 Budget.

Are any General Fund expenditures included for roads? And are the separate Measure A and Gas Tax funds expected to largely go to repave residential streets?

A: No, the General Fund budget cannot accommodate the millions per year needed for roads. Yes, other funds are planned to support residential street repaving.

Q: A key objection from opponents of Measure M last year was that city employee pay/benefits are too high: Are any temporary or permanent cuts to staff pay proposed in the budget?

No. As mentioned in the earlier budget study session, a guiding principle through this lean budget period with so many vacancies held, is to retain employees that we do have. While our remaining staff are impacted by vacancies, we do not plan to cut salaries.

Q: Are any salary increases included in either year of the proposed budget? If so, what is the estimated total cost of the increase in the General Fund?

A: There are no plans at this time for salary increases for specific positions, and any increases would need Council approval.

Q: What are the factors contributing to the 36% drop in salary in the HR department and 24% drops in both Planning and Engineering?

This is a result of purposefully holding vacant positions and re-organizing staff.

Q: What are the reasons for the 62% salary increase in Economic Development?

A: Economic Development/Communications added a Communications Officer in 2019. The position was a reallocation of a vacant position from another department, so there was no increase in authorized staffing or cost to the General Fund.

Q: The proposed budget shows a $70,000 drop in salaries/benefits/services/supplies under the “City Manager” section: can you explain the reason for the drop, and also clarify if the salaries total of $495,600 refers only to the City Manager, or if additional staff in his office are included in this total?

A: This is a result of reducing and re-organizing staff in the City Manager’s office.

The city was also asked a followup question to confirm whether the proposed budget includes any cost-of-living or other general pay increases over the next two years. The city’s communications officer replied by email on Thursday, saying: “There are no planned general pay increases for staff. As a best-practice, the proposed budget includes an assumed inflation rate of 2.5-3%.”

For more on the city’s budget, see prior article: Citrus Heights releases 108-page proposed city budget, with cuts. Here’s what’s in it

The City Council will meet at 7 pm. Thursday, April 22, to discuss and vote on the proposed two-year budget. Revisions are also expected this summer, once more is known about how the city will be able to use an estimated $15.9 million coming to Citrus Heights from the federal $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.

Public comments can be submitted to, with up to 250 words. Those interested in joining the council meeting via Zoom can find links posted in the council’s agenda packet. (click here)

Have a question about the budget you want answered? Click here to submit a question here for future consideration in a Q&A article.

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