The city of Clovis has more money in its budget than projections made in June. During an update from city staff at Monday’s city council meeting, the general fund is $12.1 million above expectations, a 14% difference in the black.
City financial director Jay Schengel said the increase is because of strong sales tax revenue and federal ARPA funds.
“Those revenues were coming unknown or stronger than expected,” Schengel said.
The council was able to add $3.6 million to the emergency reserve, to $16.4 million — the highest its been in at least five years.
Budget experts were conservative in their estimates because of the COVID fallout that did not come to fruition.
Also in Politics 101:
- Clovis to add three new officers
- College board candidate holds fundraiser.
Clovis To Add Three Officers
The Clovis City Council approved, 5-0, hiring three more police officer positions, either recruits or lateral transfers. Currently, there are 75 officers. This would take the department to 78. There are an additional 31 police managers (sergeants, corporals, etc.).
Also, the council continued with forming a citizens advisory committee to decide how to fund the police department, even if that means asking voters to support a sales tax increase.
The committee will be 25 members — the five city councilmembers will select five each — with Mayor Jose Flores selecting the chair and vice chair.
The goal is to have voters decide on a potential tax increase in the November 2022 election.
During a budget report, Police Chief Curt Fleming argued against using arrests and parking citations as measures of effectiveness. He said calls for service are a better metric. Arrests are down, he says, in part because of the declassification of crimes from Prop 47 and 57.
SCCCD Hopeful Holds Fundraiser
Destiny Rodriguez seeks to be the next trustee with the State Center Community College Board. She held a fundraiser last week at the Cosmopolitan restaurant in downtown Fresno.
Rodriguez, a climate activist, is one of three candidates thus far looking to succeed Annalisa Perea — who is running for Fresno City Council.
“What makes me the best candidate is the community experience that I have, being involved in the community for over 15 years. I know what residents go through. I can understand what a student is going through, what a family goes through the struggle and also with COVID on top of that,” Rodriguez said.
Advancing student education is on of her top goals.
“There needs to be better pathways from high school to college, whether it be city college or going to a UC. There needs to be a better communication between how to take those necessary steps and for those students that aren’t exactly sure where to go,” Rodriguez said.
Two others have filed to run for Trustee Area 5, which covers parts of west and south Fresno, including the Tower District and downtown — former Congressman TJ Cox staffer Gilbert Felix, and Fresno EOC executive Heather Brown.