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Los Gatos town council discusses balanced budget, priorities

The town of Los Gatos is on track to have a balanced $56.9 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The town council reviewed the proposed budget for the next fiscal year at a meeting on May 21, where they provided input on the priorities that the budget should reflect and heard from members of the public. Town staff called the budget “status quo,” meaning that the town’s services will remain at current levels.
Council members also voted unanimously to redirect funds from the downtown streetscape revitalization project – which helped fund the town’s economic recovery from the pandemic – to further support services that local nonprofits like West Valley Community Services and the Los Gatos Anti-Racism Coalition offer, such as rental assistance.
“It’s a very small ask that probably has the most impact per dollar of about anything we spend money on,” council member Rob Rennie said at the meeting. “It’s been mentioned and It’s a pretty obvious fact that keeping somebody out of being homeless is far easier than getting them off of homelessness, so it seems like a very worthwhile small amount of money to invest.”
Council member Rob Moore’s motion came after several members of the public spoke in support for bolstered funding for these services.
The council ultimately voted to take $150,000 from the downtown streetscape project and put $25,000 of those funds toward rental assistance, $25,000 to nutrition services and $100,000 into the town’s community grants program.
The community grants program, which the town has maintained for roughly 30 years, serves as a source of funding for local organizations to complete projects that benefit Los Gatos residents.
Moore’s motion was accompanied by another motion from vice mayor Matthew Hudes asking for the town manager and two council members to meet with county leaders to advocate for local nonprofits and help secure more county funding for their operations.
“I’m sure as Los Gatos funds rent relief, we could also ask [the] county to add to this support of our commitment,” council member Maria Ristow said.
The council voted in March to allocate $60,000 for initiatives that would support the town’s unhoused population.
The proposed budget is also the result of the council’s priority setting earlier this year. Council members in February identified prudent financial management, safety, quality of life and traffic and transportation as being among their primary concerns for the budget in the next two years. Council is on track to approve the budget for the upcoming fiscal year at their next meeting on June 4.

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