Town council strategizes over declining revenues

Staff to work on ways of reducing costs

The economic spiral affecting the county, state and federal governments is also being felt in Danville, as revenue numbers in the town are falling below projected levels.

At their Feb. 17 meeting and again at their annual workshop Monday, members of the Town Council discussed the decline in revenues and how the town will respond to the dwindling funds.

Town Manager Joe Calabrigo presented the report, saying that they are seeing across the board decreases in several areas resulting in a shortfall of $399,028 in general fund revenues from where they expected to be at the mid-year point. The decreases affect nearly every revenue source from a flattening of property tax money to a 20 percent drop in development revenues.

Calabrigo said the shortage is not a great cause for concern because of the way the town does business.

"Our town is doing very well because we budget conservatively," he explained. "Our council uses a rather unique system for budgeting."

The Town of Danville puts revenue into two separate funds. The Operating Fund is used for the day-to-day running of the town. The Capital Fund is utilized for infrastructure improvements, projects and facilities work.

"At the start of the year we look at how much goes into Operating and how much goes into Capital," Calabrigo said. "At the end of the year, if there is money left over in the Operating Fund it gets transferred over to the Capital Fund."

"The plan in Danville has never been to aggressively forecast and then spend every dollar," he added.

In order to deal with expected shortfall, the Town Council has directed staff to work on reducing general fund operating expenditures below 2008-09 levels; reduce general fund transfers to the capital improvement fund for the current fiscal year; and use contingency or reserve funds set aside by the council to offset any shortfalls.

Calabrigo said that this year he does not expect to need the reserve funds, as they will be closely examining expenditures to see where they can trim back.

Next year could be another story.

"As we look ahead we're looking at revenues being $2.2 million less than when we did the forecast last year," he stated.

Mayor Newell Arnerich said he is confident that Danville will weather the economic storm and he is continuing to push for residents to work with local businesses and services to help keep the downtown viable.

In addition, he said the town is taking steps to help out as well. Staff members have been at work over the past several weeks on a Danville Economic Stimulus Package that he said he hopes will provide some needed assistance.

No details are available currently regarding the stimulus effort and how it will work. Arnerich and the Town Council will unveil the plan at their March 3 meeting, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Town Meeting Hall, 201 Front St.


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Posted by Julia Pardini
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 25, 2009 at 10:09 am

I've read the article regarding "Town (Danville) council strategies over declining revenues"

The issue is simple, the less money we have in your pockets, the less money to spend dinning out and shopping to just shop. The town council should come back to earth and realize just because you live in Danville doesn't mean money flows loosely.

In the 3rd paragraph from the bottom the Mayor says, the residents of Danville should work with local businesses and services to help keep the downtown viable.

Well, first of all I don't think the Mayor meant to use the word "work"...I think he meant to say spend your money in downtown Danville rather then in any other community...another words, don't do business in San Ramon, Dublin, Alamo, and/or Walnut Creek. This is not a good message...isolation is not the answer.

Maybe if the town council would back off the local businesses a little, they would have more incentive to reduce prices and offer more services...thus keeping those dollars in Danville and allowing the town officials those tax dollars they are so concerned about. Give a little and you may get more...but do not push the isolation scenario.

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Posted by Loucy DeAtley
a resident of Danville
on Feb 25, 2009 at 11:43 am

As a former Danville Area Chamber of Commerce Board Chairwoman and a long-time Danville volunteer, I feel I must take issue with the judgmental reproach by Julia Pardini to comments by Danville's Mayor and Town Manager regarding their management of Danville's revenue shortfall.
Our Town Council remains very well grounded in income versus expenses, thanks in great part to fiscal policies established by their predecessors and administered by an exceptionally capable Town Manager. How very easy to presume that money flows loosely in Danville, a town with no industry, primarily owner/operated small businesses and, therefore, a small tax base.
I read no isolationist words regarding where to shop, rather I read that, as Mayor, he wants to keep Danville viable. That is his job. That is the job of the Town Manager and yes, our town officials are obligated to be concerned about revenue.
Revenue generates the funds to maintain our town's services, our community buildings, our streets, our stellar sports fields, our parks; all enjoyed by residents of the San Ramon Valley, but paid for by Danville's residents and its tax base. If anything, Danville officials, staff, Chamber or Commerce and residents promote area cooperation and support neighboring communities.
I hope, should Alamo incorporate or choose to remain a county unincorporated area, that the residents educate themselves on just such sound fiscal management that Danville enjoys.

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Posted by Julia Pardini
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 26, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Well Loucy, it's all in how you interpret it and as you so advised, being in the that loop I wouldn't expect anything else from you.

Of course you didn't see or read the word isolationist, and you obviously do not want to read between the lines. The mayor's comment about his continuing efforts to push for residents to work with businesses and services to keep the downtown viable, I guess in your mind it means...well what do you think it means???

I read as the old good old boy's rub my back and I'll rub yours. In my book there's nothing wrong with that as long as you fess up to it.

You're not saying anything I didn't is what it takes to make Danville go around....and what the Mayor is saying is, spend it here and not over there.

With regard to Alamo...I surely hope the fine people in Alamo vote NO on Measure A...and by the way, the residents of Alamo are very educated on sound fiscal management, that's the reason we plan to stay unincorporated.

Enjoy your downtown Danville, shop, eat and play in Danville.

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 27, 2009 at 8:28 am

Is there something wrong with encouraging local residents to patronize local businesses? This seems like a senseless attack.

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 27, 2009 at 9:55 am

Another thin skin...A senseless attack! My, My, this is not an attack. It's a simple comment regarding the statement the Mayor allowed to go in print.

I wish the folks in Alamo would do more business with our local's. The problem is, we don't have enough businesses to satisfy our appetite, so we go to Danville. Maybe the Mayor of Danville should have suggested to the fine folks of Danville to keep that money flowing in both communities...Danville and Alamo...what do you think?

Hey by the way...the Mayor was not encouraging, he was pushing, there is a difference.

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 27, 2009 at 10:11 am

Good Morning Loucy, I'm sure while having your morning coffee at your favorite Danville cafe you may have read in the Daville Weekly that someone took the Mayor's comment about working with local businesses to heart.

It appears a he/she didn't have a work truck to use, so the enterprising person took a Danville Maintenance truck.

You see, what goes around...comes around

And Mike from Alamo, don't get over excited, this is between Loucy and I.

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 27, 2009 at 10:15 am

I think that this is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

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Posted by Don
a resident of Danville
on Feb 28, 2009 at 8:14 am

Constructively may be this current economic environment moves the City to review their growth prohibiting zoning ordinances (specifically parking) in the downtown area. I've been trying now for nearly a year to place my sports-oriented service business in the downtown area with no success. Unfortunately, the current preference to place jewelry stores, clothing and furniture boutiques, and other businesses in the downtown area that are focused on a narrow demographic, may be a greater contributing factor to a reduced tax base than currently thought. Of course I am not suggesting we turn downtown into an amusement park of different franchises, but creating some flexibility in this time may be our local version of real economic stimulus. I’ve faith in our elected City leaders and believe that allowing a more diverse mix of business enterprises while retaining tight architectural guidelines, may help continue growing downtown Danville while ensuring we retain the character we all enjoy.

BTW, zoning and parking variances do not appear to be the solution…

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Posted by Tana Gummere, CPA
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 28, 2009 at 1:53 pm

I hope Alamo residents read the article and understand the correlation between "decling revenues in Danville"..and the 2006 report used by supporters of Measure A....Hello?

Vote No on A.

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Posted by Mike
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 28, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Along with the article on declining revenues in Danville, I hope both Alamo and Danville residents also read the numerous articles about the free-fall of revenues and unfunded retirement benefits of the County. The County's financial problems and already announced police and other service cuts make Danville's issues look like a walk in the park. This should make Alamo residents think hard about how "safe" it is to stay unincorporated and Danville residents take heart in the fact that at least their services aren't going down in flames like those of the unincorporated areas.

Like this comment
Posted by Amused!
a resident of Danville
on Mar 2, 2009 at 11:19 am

These comments are more amusing than the article!!!

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Posted by Bobby
a resident of Danville
on Mar 8, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Annex Alamo

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