In the District: City government faces negative effects of coronavirus

I hope all of you are staying safe and healthy. This is an extremely difficult time for everyone, and the way we make it through is by supporting one another.

My staff and I are working remotely and, like all of you, adjusting to this new world in which we live. If you have specific needs or ideas, please don’t hesitate to email me at jschenirer@ cityofsacramento.org.

Sacramento is facing significant negative economic impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. Our modeling suggests we will receive at least $60 million less in revenue than originally anticipated for the coming fiscal year.

Revenue losses are included in our estimates of Measure U and general fund sales taxes, as well as general fund parking revenue, transient occupancy tax and business operations tax.

This creates a large hole in the city budget, which we hope can be mostly filled with federal stimulus dollars.

Nevertheless, the city has acted quickly to preserve its funds and create an action plan, including implementing a hiring freeze for all non-essential positions, suspending all travel and evaluating all non-essential capital improvement projects not already under contract.

In the short term, the city will make up for the revenue decrease by using one-time funds. This includes using $35 million in prior year-end savings, salary savings by not filling vacancies and expenditure savings by limiting capital improvement projects.

Our plan is to adopt a bare-bones budget by May 12, and then return in late summer when we have more information and pass a revised budget based on our resources and needs.

I want to thank the more than 900 individuals and organizations that have donated nearly $1.14 million to www.Donate4Sacramento.org. We are working to disburse funds by partnering with United Way California Capital Region, Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Regional Community Foundation, Sacramento Steps Forward and The Center at Sierra Health Foundation.

Funds have been used for the following purposes:

  • United Way provided nearly 400 families with financial support.
  • Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber provided 119 small businesses with financial support.
  • Sacramento Region Community Foundation provided 25 nonprofits with relief funds.
  • Sacramento Steps Forward provided funds to the following groups to help reach the homeless population: Loaves & Fishes, Mercy Peddlers, First United Methodist Church of Sacramento, ShowUPSac, Sacramento Homeless Union, The e49 Foundation, Humanitarian Action Network, Feed Sacramento Homeless, Wind Youth Services, Solidarity of Unhoused People, and Packs for Cold Backs.
  • General support funds have gone to: First Step Communities to support the North A shelter, $15,000; Sacramento ACT to provide 60 families with rent and utility assistance, $30,000; and Sacramento Food Bank for food purchases, $169,134.

When there is a need, Sacramentans always step forward. I could not be prouder of my community.

Please stay safe and follow the guidance from the county health director. For more regular updates, send me an email and we will make sure you are on our mailing list.

Written by Jay Schenirer and posted on Tuesday, May 19th, 2020

Categorized: City Council District 5, Neighborhood News, ViewpointTagged: