Despite COVID-19 leaving many cities in budget deficits, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus and the City Council have pulled through with a balanced budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Reduced revenue caused by the COVID-19 lockdowns along with increased expenses left the city budget with a $4.7 million shortfall. Additionally, city staff projected expenditure increases, including $160,000 in insurance premiums, $313,000 in water increases, $67,000 in janitorial increases, and $800,000 in law enforcement contracts due to a five-year program previously instated.
Using money from reserves and several cost-saving measures, the budget was balanced without staff furloughs, layoffs, or loss of services. Poway will continue to investigate new ways to implement cost efficiencies, such as working to control and reduce personnel costs while protecting pension commitments and healthcare. Unneeded vacant positions will not be filled to further save resources, allowing Poway to continue prioritizing essential services.
Thanks to the Republican leadership in Poway spearheaded by Mayor Vaus—and the implementation of fiscally responsible measures—citizens can rest assured that their local taxes will remain low and that the budget is balanced. Other cities can look to Poway as a great example of what happens when fiscal responsibility meets strong leadership that puts the people first.