The coronavirus crisis may deplete Hayward’s $36 million in General Fund reserves in one year unless spending slows and sales tax and other key revenues improve from recent levels, city officials said Thursday.
So far, Hayward fire personnel including firefighters and the city manager have agreed to give up planned pay raises. The mayor and members of the City Council are reducing their salaries by 2 percent for the next fiscal year and planning to cut their budgets for travel and other expenses by 50 percent.
All told, the reductions will save the city about $500,000 in the new fiscal year that starts July 1.
But cuts in revenue due to the coronavirus crisis are forecast to require the city to spend $17 million of its $36 million General Fund operating reserve by the end of the current fiscal year on June 30.
The General Fund reserve is like a savings account, which can be drawn on in times of an emergency. The General Fund pays for services such as police, fire, 911 response, libraries, and among other services, the maintenance of parks.
The agreed-upon cuts reached with the fire department, City Council, mayor and city manager are the first following two proposals to city employee bargaining groups asking all employees to forego pay increases on July 1 and take 80 hours off without pay.
The proposals as well as pay cuts among unrepresented employees would save the city about $2.5 million in the coming fiscal year.