Press Release: Benicia City Council Holds Six-Hour Public Meeting on Program and Service Cut Impacts in Preparation for Fiscal Stability

Benicia City Council Holds Six-Hour Public Meeting on Program and Service Cut Impacts in Preparation for Fiscal Stability

On Monday, December 18, 2023, Benicia City Council held a six-hour special meeting to discuss program and service reduction scenarios in preparation for resiliency planning to address the city’s fiscal challenge.

The City of Benicia is facing a structural financial imbalance, with approximately $6.5 million (10% of the City’s general fund budget) needed in ongoing program and service cuts to reach fiscal sustainability.

At the public hearing, City Council heard from departments on the magnitude of impacts the financial cuts would have on programs and services. With such significant financial cuts, examples of potential cuts included identifying potential parks to be closed and sold as part of the Surplus Land Act, eliminating the Police Department Investigation Division, eliminating Benicia Fire Department positions and equipment, closing the community pool and eliminating the Economic Development Division, to name a few.

“The budget examples presented to City Council were not staff recommendations, but a reality of the impact of $6.5 million to the city’s budget and programs and services we offer,” said City Manager, Mario Giuliani. “Without increased revenue, the city cannot continue to sustain itself as a full service city.”

The city is currently working on a Resiliency Plan to address the fiscal crisis. The Resiliency Plan has three steps, 1. Reduce expenses, 2. Increase revenue (taxes) and 3. Incentivize development. The city has already taken steps to reduce expenses, including cutting over $4.5 million in the last 12 months, and has placed two revenue measures on the March 2024 Presidential Primary Election Ballot, Measure A (Hotel Tax) and Measure B (Benicia Public Safety and Essential Services).

The Resiliency Plan will include the scope of programs offered under two funding scenarios, one if the general sales tax measure, Measure B, on the March 5, 2024 ballot is passed by voters, and another if the sales tax measure is not passed by voters, which would require the city to cut $6.5 million to the general fund budget.

Although the reduction examples were the first step of the process of understanding the city’s budget and reduction impacts, there will be community workshops and a survey in January that will help shape the resiliency plan with the community’s priorities. To learn more about how to participate, visit

The full meeting recording can be viewed at