City council approved $8 million in cuts and revenue enhancements for the 2011-2012 budget during Tuesday’s meeting.
Before even approving the current budget, council members were already thinking about next year’s finances.
“This year’s budget cuts are half the story,” said Newport Beach Mayor Mike Henn. “We’ve got next year’s budge we need to start thinking about and we need to start thinking about it now in order to be ready.”
Henn said it is imperative for the city to consider outsourcing carefully and how it may or may not benefit the city and whether or not the potential financial savings outweigh the benefits of inside city control. Henn also said it’s possible for certain services to become in-sourced along the way, so a balanced view of all the opportunities is key.
“I think (next year’s budget) will require further consideration contracting out services and regional collaboration on ways to save money,” Henn said.
To help this year’s $8 million dollar savings goal, about 30 full-time vacant and filled positions will be eliminated, the lifeguard and other departments will be restructured, and several services may be outsourced or collaborated upon with neighboring cities.
The council unanimously approved the $255.5-million budget.
It will be the third straight year of shrinking budgets in Newport Beach, as the 2009-10 budgets was trimmed of $8.8 million mid-year, in response to the recession, and the 2010-11 budget was adopted with a further $8.7 million in cuts.
Total full-time employees also peaked in 2009-10, at 833. That dropped to 805 in the current year and a proposed 762 for 2011-12.
In order to continue the budget savings, Henn said the city will have to closely examine and explore all opportunities.
“Our ability to meet next year’s goal, which is another 7 or 8 million dollars of budget cuts,” Henn said, “will depend upon yet another higher level of diligence to achieve.”