While Berkeley already engages in a meticulous budget process, Mayor Arreguin believes in transparency and fiscal accountability.
NEW: On June 25, 2019, Council unanimously approved the Mayor’s Budget recommendations for Fiscal Years 2020-2021. Read the Mayor’s Budget Message for more details.
The Mayor is committed to fiscal responsibility, and his office has worked with the City Council, City Manager and City Auditor to improve the City’s fiscal health while simultaneously avoiding major cuts to social services.
That's why in 2017, the Mayor and City Council established a General Fund Reserve Policy with a long term goal of reaching a reserve of 30% of General Funds in 10 years. Currently the General Fund Reserve is at 18%.
The Mayor also led efforts to create a CALPERS Section 115 Supplemental Trust to set aside funds to address future CALPERS rate increases and fluctuations. The city has set a goal of putting $4 million per year into the CALPERS Trust to address unfunded liabilities.
Doing this will increase stability in the event of fiscal crises and cushion the blow during economic downturns, without necessitating immediate drastic measures.
In a national climate of corporate influence over politics, accountability can always be improved.
To that end Mayor Arreguin convened a Citizens Budget Committee which made recommendations to the City Council on improving the presentation and reporting in the city Budget and made recommendations on fiscal policies.
In December 2017, the Council approved the Mayor’s recommendation to create a standing Budget and Fiscal Committee in order to accomplish the twin goals of promoting public transparency, and fiscal responsibility. The Budget Committee is focused on review of budget proposals, improving the budget process and presentation of the budget, revenue generation and long-term fiscal health.
With the formation of these two groups, the breakdown of spending on City programs will be clearer on future budget reports and more accessible to the public.