Since I left office in 2014, City spending has increased from $31M to nearly $48M for FY 2019. It should be noted that the $48M number is a spending cap and most of the $10M increase over last year are earmarked for the implementation of the 2018 Sedona Traffic Study recommendations. The city proposes paying in part for those capital improvements using surplus reserves.
It should also be noted that the city's full-time benefited employee head count has increased from 115 in 2013 to 125 this year. These include positions for a Recreation Coordinator, Economic Development Director and an Assistant to the City Manager.
While it is unfair to criticize these increases without having been involved in the decision-making process, the City Council is responsible for the city budget and spending. I am and always have been a fiscal conservative and while I understand the necessity for capital improvements and for staffing critical city services, city spending must to be balanced with what the city needs rather than what the city wants.