Modesto Mayor Ted Brandvold’s 100-day budget review committee will meet for the first time Friday, and is expected to take care of procedural business such as creating subcommittees and receiving updates from city officials on the city’s finances and the state laws that govern public meetings.
Brandvold was elected in the Feb. 2 mayoral runoff election, defeating incumbent Garrad Marsh. Brandvold promised voters he would conduct a 100-day review of the city’s finances to find money that can be redirected to public safety, primarily for hiring more police officers.
Brandvold has said even if the review does not find significant amounts of money, it would help restore the public’s trust in the city. Modesto has faced criticism over how it spends its money and what critics say are conflicting messages about the city’s financial health. Modesto put sales tax increases on the November 2013 and 2015 ballots only to have voters reject them.
Brandvold has said the committee would primarily review Modesto’s general fund budget, report its findings and make recommendations to the City Council ahead of the council adopting the 2016-17 fiscal year budget, which starts July 1. The roughly $114 million general fund makes up about a third of the city’s operating budget and primarily pays for public safety.
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The city’s staff will help the committee review Modesto’s finances. This review is being conducted while Modesto prepares its 2016-17 budget, which will include council budget hearings in May.
C.L. Bryant CEO Chuck Bryant is the chairman of the 14-member committee. He said the committee will consider forming three subcommittees: one that would look at revenues, another at expenses and the third the city’s audit results. The committee also may look at establishing a schedule for future meetings.
The meetings are subject to the state’s open meeting laws, called the Brown Act, and the California Public Records Act. That means meetings are open to the public and, unless certain legal exceptions apply, documents used and produced by the committee are public records.
In addition to Bryant, the committee consists of Brandvold, council members Kristi Ah You and Mani Grewal, retired Sutter Health regional President David Benn, former Community Hospice CFO Rick Dahlseid, CPA Patricia Gillum, CPA Ralph A. Juarez, Beard Land Improvement Co. CEO Ron Jackson, Doctors Medical Center CEO Warren Kirk, OCAT Inc. CFO Michelle Funk, Stanislaus Taxpayers Association President Dave Thomas, Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman and F&M Bank Senior Vice President Eric Tobias and PMZ Real Estate President Mike Zagaris.
The committee will meet at noon in Room 2001 on the second floor of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St.