Mayor John Hickenlooper today delivered a proposed 2010 budget to City Council that includes sustainable change and gives the City the most solid footing possible to get through the current economy.
“Creating the 2010 budget presented the City with one of the most difficult financial challenges in many decades,” Hickenlooper wrote in a letter addressed to the City Council, City employees and Denver residents. “We approached this budget process with a focus on maintaining the core services that are most critical to our citizens, while at the same time identifying sustainable savings that strengthen our ability to deliver services more efficiently and effectively.”
Total General Fund expenditures for 2010 are projected to be $855.6 million, a decrease of 1.14 percent from our current revised 2009 operating budget and a decrease of 3.9 percent from 2008 actual expenses. To close a $120 million shortfall projected through the end of 2010, the City carefully evaluated more than 900 ideas from City employees and incorporated input from six community meetings held throughout the City in June and from an online budget survey that attracted more than 3,700 responses.
“Mayor Hickenlooper and his team have been surgical with these budget cuts and found ways to minimize the impact on services to citizens,” said City Council President Jeanne Robb. “City Council looks forward to reviewing the budget and working with the administration in the coming months, striving to do what’s right for Denver now and in the future.”
The City used $40 million of reserves to limit the budget gap to $120 million. Without using these reserves and lowering the City’s undesignated fund balance to 11.5 percent from 15 percent, the City’s budget gap would have been $160 million. The $120 million gap was closed by:
- Efficiencies and savings $75.7 million
- Personnel savings $23.3 million
- Revenue enhancements $21 million
“No one knows when the economic conditions in our City or elsewhere in the nation will improve. But we can say one thing with confidence: The people of this region have the capacity, the skills and the spirit to reduce the pain of this recession and find unexpected opportunity in tough times,” Hickenlooper wrote in his letter. “We must, and we will live within our means and continue to tackle our challenges together.”