Petaluma council pleased with budget outlook

Petaluma City Council members appeared pleased – or at least relieved – with the city's short-term financial outlook Monday during a workshop on the budget.

No layoffs are anticipated, and in fact three positions are being added. No pay cuts or unpaid furloughs will be asked of employees to save money. And city services won't be trimmed any further than they had been during the roughest financial pinch over the past few years.

But City Manager John Brown cautioned the council that the forecast isn't anything to breathe easier about yet. "I wouldn't go that far," he said.

"We're at a point where we are paying the piper," he said, for years of draining down several internal funds and nearly exhausting the city's rainy day fund to pay for essential services.

"Things aren't looking great," he said. "Were not in a place where we can start spending money."

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