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City Council ranks priorities ahead of budget workshop

Special Budget Priorities Workshop to be held Feb. 21

City Council to rank priorities during budget workshop on Feb. 21. (Photo:  MattGush from Getty Images)

REDLANDS, Calif.  — The Redlands City Council is set to convene a Special Budget Priorities Workshop, slated to take place this coming Wednesday, to deliberate on crucial focus areas that will shape the city's financial roadmap for the next two fiscal years.

Why it matters: The workshop will allow the City Council to collectively rank priority areas, providing valuable guidance for formulating the next Biennial Budget covering Fiscal Years 2025 and 2026.

Details: In anticipation of the meeting on Feb. 21, city staff presented individual council members with 18 priority focus areas. Council members ranked each item on the list from highest to lowest priority, with one being the highest. The scores were then aggregated to create a priority focus area list.

Among the focus areas that scored the highest are substantial infrastructure improvements, including upgrades to the city's aging animal shelter, addressing sidewalk and curb repairs, and improving the city’s parks. Also high on the list are community-centric initiatives such as bolstering police department staffing, investing in youth and senior programs, and funding homeless solutions. 

Affordable housing, downtown parking, and city-wide street resurfacing landed in the second half of the priority list. 

“While staff recognizes this order is not a true reflection of the City Council's priority ranking as a whole body, it is intended to serve as a guide and starting point for the Council's discussion at the workshop,” according to the staff report. 

Ranked Priority Focus Areas

  1. Animal Shelter Improvements
  2. Police Department Staffing
  3. Park Improvements
  4. Sidewalk/Curb Repair
  5. New Police Department
  6. Youth and Senior Programs
  7. Aging Infrastructure Replacement
  8. Climate Action Plan
  9. Homeless Solutions General
  10. Homeless Solutions Mental Health Team
  11. Affordable Housing
  12. Downtown Parking
  13. City-wide Street Resurfacing
  14. Emergency Management
  15. Code Enforcement Staffing
  16. Technology Improvements
  17. Communication and Engagement
  18. Museum Construction

Additionally, council members were given the chance to highlight two additional priority areas, reflecting a diverse array of concerns and aspirations within the community.

  1. Police Patrol Units (Mayor Tejeda)
  2. Colton Avenue and Orange Street Beautification (Mayor Tejeda)
  3. Sustainability/Climate Change Budget (Council Member Davis)
  4. Community Choice/Clean Energy (Council Member Davis)

Moving forward: The outcome of the workshop will serve as a cornerstone for the development of the forthcoming biennial budget, guiding resource allocation and strategic planning efforts.

Residents interested in weighing in on the city’s priorities can contact their city council representative here. Public comments can be made in person or via Zoom during the meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 6:30 pm at 35 Cajon Street, Redlands. 

More details about each priority item can be found on the agenda posted here

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