Ojai Escapes Worst Of Budget Crunch

By Sondra Murphy

The state and national economic downturn is hitting the city of Ojai, but the impact on the current budget will not be too dire. That was the opinion of city manager Jere Kersnar as he gave his report Tuesday to the Ojai City Council, offering projections and requesting direction. With the midyear budget being reviewed in the midst of regional, state and national economic deficits, projections made last summer have not all been met. Most notably, transient occupancy tax revenues, a large source of income, are down citywide. With an estimated $471,000 less in those tax revenues from poor figures in November and December, staff is hopefully awaiting data for January. But not all the miscalculations are unpleasant. Staff also budgeted for 10 to 15 percent insurance rate increases, as it has seen in recent years. Those rates only increased up to 3 percent, a $485,000 savings that is helping to offset other revenue decreases. In recent years, the city has been able to set

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