By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Council adopts a ‘status quo’ budget
city of turlock

The Turlock City Council approved a “status quo” budget of $62.48 million for the fiscal year 2024-25. The budget reflects the reorganization to consolidate Public Works into the Municipal Services department.

“The General Fund is still healthy. We went through a healthy budget role for this fiscal year. We will continue to make sure that we monitor our budget, track our revenues and continue to move forward working to make the city fiscally sound,” said Finance Director Isaac Moreno.

How Measure A — the citywide sales tax approved by voters in 2020 — funds are being spent was a hot topic for the budget, including the 10% that have been allocated to the General Fund Reserve over the years, as the Council is considering redirecting $5 million out of the reserves.

Turlock resident Ron Bridegroom brought up concerns during public comment over how Measure A funds are being spent. He noted the language of Measure A that voters approved and what it currently says on the city’s website: “the City of Turlock, 911 Safety/Emergency Medical Response, Community Services Measure.”

He then contrasted that with what the Municipal Code states about Measure A: “To adopt a retail transactions and use tax for unrestricted general revenue purposes. To remain in effect until the voters amend or repeal it.”

“So the actual ordinance kind of conflicts with what the title says. As the Council you can legally use it however you want. But you run the risk of the voters amending it or repealing it if the spirit of Measure A is not adhered to,” said Bridegroom.

“If you asked the general public if they are voting for money for employee mental health wellbeing, if you asked them if they wanted to spend, I think it’s up to now $750,000, on opening the general plan, how do you think they would respond?” Bridegroom continued.

The budget was adopted 4-1, with Council member Cassandra Abram opposing.

“We’re calling this a status quo budget, but I don’t think it’s really exactly status quo. I don’t think it’s fair to ask the majority of departments to forego expanding their ranks, but adding a few positions. I think it’s short sided not to include reclassifications, which is giving employees who have put in their time with the city and ready to take on more responsibility and advance their careers here, the amount of money we’re not including in that is maybe $100,000 in a $62 million budget. So, I’m going to vote ‘no’ on this,” said Abram.