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City Council to Vote on Canceling All Community Events

The city's Cultural Festival, farmers' market and other events are on the line.

Hercules city staff will recommend postponing all community events—including the Cultural Festival and farmers' market—until the city’s general fund can support non-essential expenditures.

Staff will recommend the resolution to cancel events at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, which comes just days before dozens of employees are scheduled to receive notices due to a . Canceling the events would save the city’s general fund roughly $147,000 annually, city records show.

On March 8, the council considered a similar events cancellation resolution and voted to cut the Christmas tree lighting, Community Update (an informational event on city and other agency programs) and funding for the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, while keeping the Cultural Festival, Fourth of July Celebration, Community Cleanup and lower-profile events. The council also voted to preserve the annual City of Hercules and Hercules Titans Boosters Golf Tournament and the seasonal farmers' market, which staff said brought $20,000 and $4,000, respectively, in net profit per year.

Since the March 8 vote, city staff has recalculated costs associated with the events and come up with higher numbers (earlier calculations did not include staff time). New numbers showed the farmers' market losing the city $16,255 per year. The golf tournament, while still netting between $5,400-$20,000, would likely receive less sponsorship because of recent changes in city officials and in companies that contract with the City of Hercules-contracted companies—some the top contributors to the event. If the city ends up cutting the farmers' market, an outside organization still has the option of picking up the event, said Interim Parks and Recreation Director Pedro Jimenez said at last week’s joint Financial Subcommittee-Citizens Finance Advisory Ad Hoc Committee.

In the March 8 meeting, council members said that if one community event can be saved, it should be the Cultural Festival, which is Hercules’ most popular—and expensive—event, costing the city $60,000 each year.

This year, roughly half of that cost has already been used towards planning for the summer event, Jimenez said.

Jimenez said his staff has considered a simplified version of the Cultural Festival, but it would still cost the city around $25,000. The Hercules Fourth of July Committee, which helps to plan the Independence Day parade and fireworks, has recommended canceling this year's event due to a dwindling city budget, Jimenez said.

Even if funds are approved for the festivities, pending layoffs will put pressure on an already stressed staff. “We’re going to have a very skeleton crew to do these events. It’s going to be tough,” said Jimenez.

COMMUNITY EVENTS FACING CANCELLATION 

Farmers' Market

Expenditures: $28,255.04. Income: $12,000. Net Profit: -$16,255.04

Cultural Festival

Expenditures: $60,255.04. Income: $12,000. Net Profit: -$48,255.04

4th of July Celebration

Expenditures: $44,607. Income: $15,00000 Net Profit: -$29,607

Golf Tournament

Expenditures: $30,000/$14,607. Income: $50,000 Net Profit: $20,000/$5,393

Community Cleanup

Expenditures: $10,969. Income: $0. Net Profit: -$10,969

Smaller Events

  • Citywide Garage Sales
  • E-waste
  • JAM in the Park
  • Mayors Conference
  • Sister City
  • Mayor's Breakfast
  • Crab Feed
  • Community Garden
  • Council Meeting (New Council)
  • Others: Office, Banners, etc.

Expenditures $24,255.42. Income: $0. Net Profit: -$24,255.42

CURRENTLY CANCELED EVENTS

Tree Lighting

Expenditures: $5,217.75. Income: $0.   Net Profit: -$5,217.75

Community Update

Expenditures: $7,217.75. Income: $0. Net Profit: -$7,217.75

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Expenditures: $5,000. Income: $0. Net Profit: -$5,000

Susan D.Keeffe April 12, 2011 at 02:09 PM
Lisa, All good ideas! This is an example of what I have been trying to say. Times are tough so now is the time for the community to come together. I don't know the details re the City DayCare situation or the Swim Center. Hopefully we will learn more about their deficits and what it would cost to make them break even as the City really can't afford anything right now.
Susan D.Keeffe April 12, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Lisa,Lucky's has a Shares Card system I support for my special needs son. Every time you shop money goes to the ARC which supports his adult workshop. Its seamless, I just give them my card before paying and then my purchases count. The card works at all Lucky's.
Lyn April 12, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Where can we see the list of staff salaries?
Sheila Smith April 13, 2011 at 04:06 AM
Lots and lots of ways here to continue to devalue homes in Hercules. What happens when property taxes generate even less revenue. Some cuts are needed, but let's not cut of our collective noses to spite our fcollective faces.
Giorgio C. April 13, 2011 at 05:58 AM
Good point. A hatchet job could send Hercules into a death spiral. This is a time for calm, discipline and reason.

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