ROSEVILLE (CBS13) – With a deadline still months away and a shortfall projected, the City of Roseville is already preparing for budget cuts in the 2018-19 fiscal year.
On Monday, Roseville leaders used a unique technique to ask taxpayers what services should be saved. Roseville taxpayers filled up a forum at the Maidu Community Center and used their cell phones to vote on what they want saved and what would be OK to lose.
David Breninger is one of the 150 people who pulled out their smartphones to show Roseville city leaders his input.
“Public safety is always number one, next after that is a good sound road system,” Breninger said.
Roseville city leaders set up the forum. The cell phone survey allowed immediate responses, ranking city services. They are results city manager Rob Jensen said would guide the city’s budget cut choices.
“Is this very important for you? Or not so important,” Jensen said.
In the group at this forum, for fire services, most selected emergency planning as the biggest budget priority. Volunteer programs finished last on the priority list.
For police social services, homeless outreach was the top priority. Social media ranked last on the priority list.
For the parks department, keeping pools open came in first – events like parades and fun runs were last.
“We’ll have more money but our expenses are growing faster than our revenues,” Jensen said.
Roseville’s projected budget deficit next year will be due in part to increased public pension obligations determined by CalPERS.
“We expect it to be $2 to 3 million a year more for the next 4 or 5 years,” Jensen said.