In 2019, City Council formed several policy committees to better examine and discuss Council referrals prior to Council meetings. I am proud to be the Chair of the Budget and Finance Council Committee.
In 2016, the City Auditor came to Council with recommendations on ways we could improve our budget reserves policy. You can read the City Auditor recommendations here (item will download). In January 2017, Berkeley City Council voted to establish a minimal general fund reserve level and designate specific portions of the reserve for stabilization and catastrophic purposes. Berkeley City Council deserves recognition for taking the first steps towards long-term fiscal stability as initially recommended by the City Auditor and City Manager in 2016. In doing so, City Council “plan[ned] to revisit the criteria at a future date” that would be followed if the City needed to use its reserve funds.
Using recommendations from the City Auditor and City Manager, I partnered with Councilmembers Maio and Wengraf to propose that Berkeley adopt best practices outlining the circumstances in which we draw funds from our City reserves. You can read that item here (item will download). On October 3rd, Council discussed our proposal and formed an Ad-Hoc Subcommittee consisting of myself and Councilmembers Worthington, Wengraf, and Harrison to discuss our City reserve policies in depth and return to Council with a Recommendation.