The previous article, Basic Budget 101 – City General Fund Revenues, detailed the funding sources of Hollister’s fiscal year 2015-2016, $19.4 million, General Fund (GF) – where the money comes from; this article will detail the GF expenditures – where the money goes.
GF expenditures fall into two broad categories, base (or recurring) and one-time expenses. The latter category can change significantly from year-to-year. For this budget, $17.3 million, 89 percent, were for base expenses and $2.1 million, 11 percent, were for one-time expenses. Some of the one-time expenses go to buying equipment and fulfilling obligations, others fund discretionary expenses.
The largest one-time GF expense in this budget was the proposal pay off an old $1.2 million CalPERS loan taken to fund increased employee retirement benefits; the payoff will save almost $400,000 in interest payments. The next largest one-time expense was $335,000 to cover the extra pay period that comes once every 11 years for all employees paid on a bi-weekly basis. The balance of one-time expenditures are scattered among 15 other items and the City Council, at times, changes the uses as needs develop.
All GF expenditures, base and one-time, can be categorized in one of two ways, by eight functions or four types; GF contract obligations such as those for fire and Animal Control are included.
Expenses by Functional Category:
Department Budget % of Budget Employees
Police $6.0 million 31 29.7
Fire $5.2 million 27 25.0
Administration $2.2 million 11 10.5
Development Serv. $1.8 million 9 7.7
Non-Departmental $1.5 million 8 0.0
Parks & Recreation $1.4 million 7 4.7
Community Serv. $0.8 million 4 2.5
Animal Control $0.5 million 3 3.2
Total GF Budget $19.4 million 100 83.3
Expenses by Type:
Type Budget % of Budget
Personnel $13.2 million 68
Contractual $3.8 million 20
Services & Supplies $2.2 million 11
Capital $0.2 million 1
Total GF Budget $19.4 million 100
Even taking into account the county fire contract it is easy to see that direct public safety expenses by function (58 percent) and personnel by type (68 percent) are the largest expenditures sectors in the GF budget.