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City council presented with leaner balanced budget

Lean, in terms of budgeting, has become a common keyword in recent years as cities across southern California and throughout the country slash budgets and city spending to accommodate for cuts across the board.

It can also be used to describe the city of Claremont’s latest 2-year budget cycle, presented for the first time to the Claremont City Council Tuesday night, in terms of the budget itself and the sparse public involvement in the process.

Despite low community turnouts throughout the budget preparation, including Tuesday night’s review, City Manager Tony Ramos and staff presented the council with a balanced budget through 2014, reviewed with little negative feedback.

“The city is now a leaner more efficient organization with this 2012-14 budget,” Mr. Ramos said. “Steps we have taken in previous years and conservative projections have put Claremont in a good financial position.”

Total expenditures assumed for 2012-2013 are estimated at about $40.3 million. A bulk of that amount, about 85 percent, making up operating costs with a small portion toward debt service and capital improvement. 2013-2014 expenditure assumptions are about $39.5 million, with ratios remaining essentially the same as the previous year.

Operating expenses are divvied up among the city’s 6 departments: Administrative Services/City Manager, Community and Human Services, Community Development, Financial Services, General Government and Public Safety. A majority of the money goes to Public Safety at 47.13 percent, or $9.247 million, in 2012-2013. Second is Community and Human Services at 20.70 percent, or $4.124 million. The least goes to financial services, with only 8 full-time employees, at $3.59 percent or $715,851.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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