The Modesto City Council is revising its budget to protect some popular services, such as community pools and police positions.
It is expected to vote on a $290.5 million spending plan June 3.
Some services that could get unexpected funding include:
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The revisions would alter a budget proposal Ridenour presented earlier this month calling for $10 million in cuts to the city's general fund because of a continued decline in tax revenue. That $120 million account pays for high profile services, including public safety and parks.
Council members are offering different priorities than those Ridenour presented. They're balancing their choices with reductions in other programs.
Councilwoman Janice Keating, for example, at Tuesday's council meeting said she wants to cut about $140,000 from the Planning Division to restore police positions or build water features for parks at which the city has demolished pools.
"As I looked at this, I had to make a decision about what really is a priority," she said.
Robert Stanford, a 2007 City Council candidate, urged the council to fill all open police positions. About 25 were left vacant this year because of the city's ongoing budget troubles.
"We need those officers back," he said.
Ridenour, who aimed to fill at least six officers in his budget proposal, replied that the city can't afford to hire more police.
"We need the officers out there," he said. "The problem is the revenue."
Some of the cuts are less painful than expected because Ridenour's original plan counted a $700,000 workers compensation charge twice. That meant the council had extra money to use for programs and to bolster the city's reserves by about $500,000 more than Ridenour initially proposed.
His first budget called for the city to shut all of its public pools except for the one in Graceada Park. The council wants to increase money for pools and keep them open at Graceada, Catherine Everett, C.F. Brown and Roosevelt parks. Six pools that were open last summer would close under the current budget.
Early in the meeting, council members had to vote twice to adopt pay raises they approved for themselves two weeks ago.
The ordinance that set up the raises required a second vote, which was pulled from a slate of council items that typically get unanimous decisions.
The ordinance failed on that reading because Councilman Will O'Bryant mistakenly cast a "no" vote, tilting the decision to 4-3 against the pay raises.
"There's no pay raises," Ridenour said after that vote.
Councilman Garrad Marsh requested a second vote and the measure passed 4-3 on the same lines from two weeks ago. Ridenour, O'Bryant, Councilwoman Kristin Olsen and Councilman Dave Lopez voted for the raises; Keating, Marsh and Councilman Brad Hawn voted against them.
Ridenour's salary is expected to rise on July 1 from $800 a month to $3,600. Council members will get a $1,200 monthly pay hike to $2,000.
Bee staff writer Adam Ashton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2366.