Wednesday’s scheduled meeting of the Westminster City Council has been cancelled, further pushing back a decision on the city budget. According to Amanda Jensen, city clerk, the meeting was cancelled because Councilmember Margie Rice was “out of town” and unable to attend.
The next meeting of the council will be on Wednesday, Aug. 24.
A decision on the budget was originally scheduled for the July 27 meeting, but the council could not agree. Mayor Tri Ta and council members Rice and Sergio Contreras voted to delay a decision two weeks to this Wednesday.
The council majority supported Rice’s position that she needed more information.
“I’m not going to vote for a budget that I don’t have answers on,” she said, and the council majority agreed. Rice, a former mayor of Westminster, is again a candidate for the post, as is incumbent Ta.
The budget in question for 2016-17 sees $94.9 million in general fund income and $103.6 million in expenses. In order to balance the budget, $8.7 million would be taken from reserves.
Westminster is facing a financial crisis, according to city leaders, and voters will decide on Nov. 8 whether to approve a proposed 1-cent sales increase. Factors influencing the city’s fiscal woes include declining sales tax revenue, slow economic growth and a drop in money from the utility tax as fewer people keep land telephone lines.