California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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City Budget Prioritizes Education

Residents throughout Hayward gathered at City Hall to voice their opinion and concerns on what the city’s budget for the fiscal year 2012 will be.

City residents voiced concerns regarding financial stability, safety, environmental effects, and how education will be impacted.

“No one expected an outcome like this,” said Kevin Smith, 34, a Hayward resident. “A significant turnout of residents proved, city matters are important.”

Previously, Hayward’s operating budget for the 2010 fiscal year was $225 million, yet, due to involuntary budget cuts, the city’s budget has been reduced by $10 million for an annual budget of $215 million, according to Hayward’s finance department.

City Manager Fran David announced tough times are ahead, and while budget cuts are inevitable, maintaining a healthy community remains a top priority.

Even though Hayward has reduced funding, projects seem to be implemented throughout the city to increase cleanliness, safety, and the importance of education, said Hayward resident Marcus Brown, 32.

For example, neighborhoods can expect an incredibly high level of active participation between the City Council, city staff, and community members, said City Council member and California State University East Bay lecturer Mark Salinas.

The city has neighborhood partnership programs, such as the Keep Hayward Clean and Green Task Force, and a whole host of other activities to promote civic engagement, he said.

While surrounding cities are reducing their police force, Hayward is pushing to maintain current staff levels at around 150 to ensure public safety, said Hayward resident and former police officer, Roman Perez, 48.

“Also, the city is seriously reconstructing its linkages between the city and education, from K-12 to university levels,” said Salinas.

For those reasons, families, children and students can expect consideration in terms of priorities for Hayward, since the city council has two college professors on its staff, added Salinas.

“At least we now have someone speaking for us,” said Chabot College student Stephanie Ortega, 20. “Finally we can breathe.”

“While high school graduates can choose from an array of careers the day after graduation,” said Salinas, “the strongest and most powerful predictor for a good and healthy life is going and successfully completing a college degree.”

“All in all, I think Hayward residents can expect a great year ahead,” said resident Eduardo Gomez, 38.

“Even though the city took what we said into consideration, in the end we’ll really see down the road if they listened to us,” said Nancy Sweeny, 42, also of Hayward.

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California State University East Bay
City Budget Prioritizes Education