District 3 candidate thanks Elk Grove City Council for adopting her budget review idea, chides for over-payment of property

At last night's Elk Grove City Council meeting, a District 3 candidate thanked the city for adopting an idea as it relates to what will be a challenging financial year.

Speaking during public comment, Lynn Wheat pressed gratitude for the adoption of her suggestion in the city's budget review process. Wheat's suggestion, made at the June 10 meeting, urged the city to increase the frequency of the city council's oversight of the budget from semi-annually to quarterly. 

"I want to thank you for considering my proposal on reevaluating our city budget every three months," Wheat told the council during the teleconference meeting. "I look forward to the reevaluation that evening."  

Typically the city has a mid-year review in early January where adjustments are made to the budget. In normal years, budget adjustments are usually minor and non-controversial.

This year, however, the city is facing several financial challenges brought on by the business shut-downs spurred by the COVID19 pandemic. The shut-down has resulted in lower sales tax revenues, the city's largest category of revenue in the last quarter of the current fiscal year.

That downturn in revenue is forecasted to continue in fiscal year 2021, which starts on July 1. Although the city has forecast decreased sales and property tax revenues, given state workers, many of whom live in Elk Grove, face a possible 10-percent pay cut, sales tax revenues could be worse than expected. 

During her comments, Wheat, pointing to real property negotiations during the city council's closed meeting, also said she hopes the city does not overpay for properties as she claimed they have done in the past. Wheat is of the opinion the council has not responsibly spent taxpayers' money.

"It is my hope that when we are negotiating property, we will come out a little better than we have in previous purchases," she said. 

Wheat also weighed in on concerns of residences in District 3 near Moneterry Trail High School about the placement of a cell tower on the campus. Those comments can be heard in the audio below. 

An Independent Wheat is running against Republican Kevin Spease and Democrats Maureen Craft and Amandeep Singh for the seat that is being vacated by Steve Detrick, first elected in 2008. The 2020 city council races in Elk Grove will be the first conducted on a by-district basis.

The next quarterly budget oversight meeting will be at one of the September 2020 city council meetings. 

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