City council member skips meeting delaying approval of 2025 Elk Grove budget

Even though the budget vote was delayed because a city council member blew off the meeting, city budget manager Nathan Bagwill presented the city's 2025 budget during the June 12 city council meeting. | 

Elk Grove's fiscal year 2025 budget was expected to be approved at the Wednesday night city council meeting. That approval, however, was delayed for two weeks. 

The delay was sought at the request of Elk Grove District 1 City Councilmember Darren Suen, who skipped the meeting for an undisclosed reason. Suen asked his four city council colleagues, who obliged his request, to delay the vote so he could participate in the budget discussion.

Interestingly, Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen announced the request to delay the vote after budget manager Nathan Bagwill presented a budget overview. 

Among the highlights of Bagwill's presentation were the following:
  • Total budget is $374 million
  • The five-year capital improvement budget is $276 million, of which $117 million is not funded
  • The 2025 general fund revenue budget is $105.7 million, of which sales taxes are the largest single source contributing 37 percent (see chart below)
  • Labor costs are 68 percent of the general fund budget
  • By city departments, the police receive 70 percent of the general fund budget
  • The city will hire 15 full-time employees, of which seven are conversions from contract employees
  • Measure E revenues are forecasted at $30 million
During public comment, Elk Grove resident Lynn Wheat suggested a semantic change to the budget.

"When we talk about funding of the budget, we are saying it provides funding for city council projects," Wheat said. "Are these for the people of Elk Grove, or are they for the city council."

Wheat added, "I would consider changing that wording as I see our budget is supposed to go for all the people in the city."

Wheat also questioned the wisdom of plowing $6 million from Measure E consumer taxes into the city's reserves. 

"Is that what the residents wanted, or did they want that money directed towards the quality of life and improvements in our city," she said. 

Ms. Wheat was the only one of less than a half dozen people in the audience who spoke during public comment. 

During deliberations, Councilmember Kevin Spease broke with a long-held city council tradition. Typically, council members and the mayor praise themselves and the highly-paid city staff members who prepare the state-mandated balanced budget.  

Instead, Spease started his remarks by acknowledging the people who make it possible - taxpayers. 

"First and foremost, thanks to the public for your trust," he said. "Almost two years ago, during record high inflation, the residents of Elk Grove approved an increase to the sales tax. That's a lot of trust put in us, and I want to thank the public for that."

The budget will be discussed further and approved during the June 26 city council meeting, just four days before the mandated June 30 deadline. 

The video below is qued to Mr. Bagwill's presentation. 











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2 comments

Josie said...

Well great news for a change. Finally an alert citizen, Lynn Wheat I believe, mentioned the lines dividing the lanes on EG Blvd. East of Hwy. 99. That has been a major problem for several years and when it is wet, very bad. There are so many lines you just end up following the line of traffic and hope for the best!

Josie said...

Well great news for a change. Finally an alert citizen, Lynn Wheat I believe, mentioned the lines dividing the lanes on EG Blvd. East of Hwy. 99. That has been a major problem for several years and when it is wet, very bad. There are so many lines you just end up following the line of traffic and hope for the best!

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