from Cambra Ward Jacobson, City of Eugene
Eugene City Manager Sarah Medary will present the city’s proposed 2023-2025 biennial budget to the Budget Committee April 26 at 5:30 p.m.
The proposed $1.5 billion budget includes strategies to reduce a $15 million general fund budget gap and shifts $5 million towards urgent community needs.
“The City is facing financial pressures that require us to reduce costs,” said City Manager Sarah Medary. “We used a sound financial approach that reduces but does not eliminate services, while also making some new investments in areas of great community concern.”
The city faces a significant gap in revenues and expenses requiring cost reductions and other course corrections for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
The city manager said Eugene is experiencing many of the same challenges as governments throughout Oregon and the United States: high inflation, hiring and retaining a work force, and the cost of operations outpacing property tax revenue.
“Any one of these alone is a challenge to solve and we’ve had to make some very difficult budget decisions,” she said. “I propose using multiple, interconnected strategies for an all-in approach that is intended to make immediate impacts while preparing us for a brighter future.”
The city is shifting to a priority-based two-year budget. The two-year planning horizon will give staff more flexibility in responding to council and community priorities.
By funding programs and services rather than city departments, priority-based budgeting is meant to improve budget decision-making, encourage creative conversations, and identify critical programs that meet community and organizational goals.
Changes from the current budget to the proposed budget are summarized online.
The 16-member Budget Committee consists of eight city councilors and eight appointed citizen members who will review the proposed budget and offer their recommendations to the council.
Citizen members include Budget Committee Chair Tai Pruce-Zimmerman, Vice-Chair Eliza Kashinsky, Ryan Kounovsky, Siobhan Cancel, Rayna Jackson, Ryan Moore, and Zach Mulholland. One citizen position is vacant.
The following meetings are scheduled:
- 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 26: City Manager’s Presentation on the 2023-2025 Proposed Budget
- 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 10: Budget Deliberation and Public Comment
- 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 17: Budget Deliberation and Public Comment
- 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 24: Public Hearing and Recommendation
- 5:30 p.m., Monday, June 26: City Council Public Hearing and Action
The city council and staff offer many opportunities to provide feedback. In addition to advisory groups that address specific policy areas, the city also supports geographically-based feedback through a robust neighborhood association program and city elections. Many meetings include time for public comment.