Approve Budget for 2019-2021 - YES
I voted to approve Corte Madera's Operating and Capital Improvement Budgets for fiscal years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 because they keep Corte Madera on the path of delivering quality services and improvements to our community while shoring up our fiscal stability.
This year, Corte Madera made the switch from a one-year budget to a two-year budget. I believe this change is positive in that it engenders the important shift I've been talking about since the beginning of my campaign for Town Council: that we need to start taking a longer-term approach to governance in Corte Madera. Our new two-year budget helps us look at each year's revenue and expenditures in a larger context, and helps us better plan for the future.
These budgets were largely in line with last year's budget, with no significant changes to their substance. However, one important change I requested is that the Town's reserve fund be enumerated as its own line item in the budget. While under a previous ordinance it was mandated that about $2 million of the Town's "money in the bank" be considered an emergency reserve, I felt it was important for purposes of transparency and fiscal responsibility that our reserve fund be easily identifiable in the budget, so anyone looking at the budget can know exactly how much money we're setting aside for emergencies. I believe this change will also reduce the risk of accidentally dipping into the reserve fund in the course of regular spending.