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City Council puts police funding, climate sustainability, housing amid top budget priorities

The workshop to name top 10 priorities is part of a larger budget planning process

Redlands City Council discusses budget priorities as part of budget planning process. (Photo: MattGush from Getty Images)

REDLANDS, Calif. – The Redlands City Council recently convened to establish key budget priorities for the upcoming years. The top ten priorities, outlined without specific rankings, encompass areas including, police department funding, climate sustainability, downtown parking solutions, affordable housing, and animal shelter improvements.

Why it matters: These priorities guide city staff in formulating the budget proposal for the next two years, ensuring that critical needs and community concerns are addressed effectively.

Details: Redlands City Council held a special meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21 to discuss budgeting priorities as part of the planning process for the 2025-2026 biennial budget. 

Individual council members ranked 18 priorities provided by the city manager ahead of the meeting. The aggregated results formed the main list for discussion.

Public comments highlighted concerns regarding climate change, affordable housing, and long-term impacts of proposed items.

The council opted for two groups of priorities: the top six, without a specific order, and an additional four to complete the list.

The top six priorities, in alphabetical order, include: 

  • Affordable Housing: Strategies to increase affordable housing stock, including fee waivers and streamlining of ADUs.
  • Animal Shelter Improvements: Updates to meet current care standards and expand capacity.
  • Climate Action Plan: Funding for sustainability efforts and hiring of a sustainability manager on staff.
  • Downtown Parking: Support for recommendations in the Downtown Parking Study and feasibility study for a new parking structure.
  • New Police Department: Funding for a permanent facility to enhance operations and align with Measure T priorities.
  • Police Department Staffing: Hiring additional personnel for improved public safety and efficiency.

Additional four priorities, listed alphabetically include: 

  • Aging Infrastructure Replacement: Increasing budget allocation for infrastructure updates.
  • Code Enforcement Staffing: Hiring more officers and transitioning to proactive enforcement.
  • Homeless Solutions General: Allocating additional funds to address homelessness.
  • Park Improvements: Funding renovations and maintenance based on the Parks Master Plan.

City Manager Charles Duggan emphasized the flexibility of the lists, ensuring that it would guide rather than dictate budget decisions. The final budget will reflect council feedback and community needs.

“Nothing is rigid about this process. All this helps me to present a budget to you that reflects what you’re telling me. If you have different opinions at that time, your vote will reflect that," said Duggan.

Moving forward: The biennial budget will undergo development in the coming months and will be subject to a vote later in the year.