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Hold The Line City Starts Budget Talks
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No hard and fast numbers were given ... but all Escalon city department heads know they have to trim any fat out of their individual budgets, to help keep the overall bottom line healthy for the coming fiscal year.

Budget talks for the 2008-2009 fiscal year have started in earnest, with City Manager Greg Greeson, Finance Director Ricky Gibbs and assistant Tammy Alcantor meeting to review budget projections and start going over those individual budget proposals with department heads.

"This week is pretty much a full week of budget meetings," agreed Greeson. "We've met with Duane Peterson in Community Development, which is Building and Planning, met with (City Clerk) Lisa Nebe on the legislative budget, which is for the council, elections, training, that sort of thing."

Also held have been meetings with the public works and engineering departments, including a review of the city's CIP, Capital Improvement Projects, budget and talks with the Police Department and Recreation.

"Wednesday we'll do our second round," Greeson said, making suggestions for any changes, additions or deletions to the budget proposals for each department.

"By the end of this week, early next week, we'll have the department budgets tied down," he said.

Many school districts and municipalities throughout the region are having to cut spending from the current year levels as budgets are developed. Greeson said the city hasn't had to go that far yet, but all department heads have been put on notice to keep things tight.

"We certainly are programmatic budgeting," he said.

Escalon conducted a formal mid-year budget review this year and Greeson said the city was holding steady both on projected revenues and expenditures at that time. He also said it was a clear directive from the city council to keep services intact while holding the line on spending.