Welcome to the July 2023 edition of "Backyard Brief." I hope you are all enjoying a wonderful summer so far and are looking forward to celebrating our nation's independence. If you do plan on celebrating on July 4, please follow the safety tips found in this newsletter. This month, the City of Dublin will also be introducing a new event, a Backyard Block Party at Don Biddle Community Park. We hope you can join us for this inaugural event. You'll find details below. Other articles provide detailed information on the City Council's adoption of the Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget; how to be part of "National Night Out"; Dublin Heritage Park summer tours; and more.
Dublin City Council Adopts Fiscal Year 2023-24 Budget
At its meeting held on Tuesday, May 16, the Dublin City Council adopted Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget. The primary goals addressed in the budget cycle are to:
1) Fully fund current City operations;
2) Fund future capital endeavors now through the setting aside of specific reserves; and
3) Maintain adequate operating reserves over the long term.
The Fiscal Year 2023-24 budget includes citywide revenues of $143.3 million; and expenditure proposals totaling $146.2 million, including capital funds and internal service funds. The total citywide fund balance is projected at $311.1 million. All fund balances are projected in the positive, except for grant funds, which are reimbursed after expenditures are incurred, and the Public Facility Fees Fund, due to the timing difference in the collection of fees and the construction of parks and facilities.
The General Fund Budget is balanced, with a projected operating surplus of $16.3 million. The revenue increase is primarily attributed to continued growth in Property Tax. Expenditure increases are mainly attributed to an increase in personnel costs, which include the addition of two new positions; higher Services & Supplies costs due to an increase in insurance premiums; higher Information Technology internal service fund charges, with additional resources to address the City’s operational needs; and an increase in contract services for public safety and maintenance, in personnel costs and contract services, primarily for police, fire, and maintenance services. While the budget is in a surplus position, it is important to recognize that there are several capital improvement projects that require funding beyond the five-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP). There will also be funding needs for infrastructure maintenance and reinvestment as the City transitions to a built-out community.
While the General Fund operating budget is balanced, the 10-Year Forecast shows a projected operating deficit in Fiscal Year 2030-31. As we prepare for the future, City Staff recognizes that the pace of revenue growth is not sustainable, and City’s contracted operational costs will continue to rise. As such, we remain committed to finding budget solutions that will ensure the long-term fiscal health of the organization.
Dublin City Manager Appoints New Finance Director
Dublin City Manager Linda Smith has announced the appointment of Jay Baksa as the City’s new Finance Director. Baksa began his role on July 1, following the retirement of former Finance Director Lisa Hisatomi. Baksa has 14 years’ experience in government budgeting, strategic planning, staff development, management, and accounting functions. He joined the City of Dublin in July 2015 as a Financial Analyst and was appointed to the position of Assistant Administrative Services Director in January 2020. Prior to joining Dublin, Baksa worked for eight years as a financial analyst with the County of Fresno.
During his tenure at the City of Dublin, Baksa has led a team of finance and accounting professionals, overseeing the day-to-day financial operations of the organization, including payroll, AP/AR, general accounting, budget monitoring, annual audits, cashflow needs, and investment management. He developed and oversaw the annual budget preparation and worked on the City’s first debt refinancing. As a financial analyst, he oversaw and coordinated the City’s Fiscal Sustainability Task Force and managed the City’s User Fee Study/Cost Allocation Plan. He also developed a 10-year interactive forecast model to provide current, up-to-date projections for executive management, and developed an interactive Cost Recovery Model to analyze all of the City’s Parks and Community Services programs for revenue recovery. Additionally, he has led the City’s investment strategy, which includes a $300 million portfolio.
“I am so pleased to announce the appointment of Jay Baksa to the position of Finance Director for the City of Dublin,” said City Manager Linda Smith. “Jay has been an invaluable member of the Dublin team, and his background and experience in finance will continue to help guide us in operational efficiencies and proper fiscal management.”
Baksa received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Master of Arts Degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University in 2003 and 2006, respectively. Regarding his appointment, Baksa said, “The City of Dublin is an incredible organization, and I am honored to have been given the opportunity to lead the Finance Department.”
City of Dublin Mourns the Loss of Beloved Former Councilmember George Zika
George Zika, former Dublin City Councilmember and a longtime member of the Dublin community, passed away on June 20, 2023, following a lengthy illness. He was 85. He is survived by his five children, 17 grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. He is preceded in death by his wife Charlotte.
Mr. Zika embodied the true spirity of public service, having served two, four-year terms on the Dublin City Council from 1998 to 2006. His service to the City of Dublin also included roles as a Planning Commissioner, Parks and Community Services Commissioner, founding member of the Dublin Senior Foundation, a member of the Fiscal Sustainability Task Force, and a recent member of the Police Chief's Advisory Panel, to name just a few. He was truly a selfless man who tirelessly advocated for the interests and well-being of the Dublin community. Despite being in ill health, he continued to give his time freely for the benefit of the Dublin community. In 2015, he was presented with the Mayor's Legacy Award by former Dublin Mayor David Haubert.
Apply Now to be Part of the City of Dublin's Leadership Academy, "Inside Dublin"
Inside Dublin, an annual leadership academy which provides community members with advanced knowledge of municipal operations and activities, will begin this fall. Residents interested in the program are encouraged to apply now to be part of the 2023 class.
The goal of the academy is to inform the participants about City services and the issues (present and future) facing the community, and to encourage community involvement at all levels. The program will include presentations on topics such as public safety, infrastructure, education, local government, and community services.
Inside Dublin is a seven-week program (six Thursday evenings, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and one Saturday field trip) beginning Saturday, October 7, 2023. Class size is limited to the first 25 candidates. Candidates must be age 18 years or older, and currently live or work in Dublin.
Interested parties may contact Cierra Fabrigas, Executive Aide, at 925-833-6650, or complete the online application available on the City’s website at https://www.dublin.ca.gov/insidedublin.
The deadline to apply is at 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 15. Please note that all available spots may be filled prior to the official deadline.
City of Dublin Urges Fireworks Safety on Independence Day
"Safe and Sane" fireworks are currently being sold in Dublin through Tuesday, July 4. The City of Dublin and its public safety departments urge extreme caution in their use while celebrating the Independence Day holiday. Those who purchase fireworks from local organizations should keep the following precautions in mind:
* Always read and follow the safety instructions.
* Never take fireworks apart to build your own fireworks.
* Never allow children to use fireworks without adult supervision.
* Only light one device at a time, and move to a safe distance after lighting the device.
* Never try to re-light or handle "dud" fireworks (faulty and unexploded fireworks).
* Fireworks should always be used in safe, open areas and away from buildings, combustibles, dry vegetation, and, especially, people and animals.
* A connected garden hose should be nearby, and a pail of water kept handy for disposal of spent fireworks and "duds."
* Pet owners should keep pets indoors on July 4, as many animals become extremely agitated by the sights and sounds of fireworks. Some of these pets will even run into the streets or run away to avoid distressing situations.
While Dublin homeowners may use their "Safe and Sane" fireworks at any time during the sales period, no fireworks of any type (including "Safe and Sane") are permitted at Dublin multi-housing units or at any undesignated Dublin park, other City facility, public school, or business parking lot. Residents should also check with their homeowners association (HOA), if applicable, for rules regarding the use of "Safe and Sane" fireworks. However, the City has four parks where the use of "Safe and Sane" fireworks are permitted in the parking lot on the 4th of July, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.:
Alamo Creek Park (Dougherty Road and Willow Creek Drive)
Dublin Sports Grounds (Dublin Boulevard and Civic Plaza)
Emerald Glen Park (Central Parkway behind The Wave)
Shannon Park (Shannon Avenue and San Ramon Road)
Illegal fireworks, which explode in the air or move along the ground, always pose a higher threat, as sparks from illegal fireworks may ignite a fire on dry vegetation or rooftops. Dublin will be increasing enforcement efforts, and there will be dedicated law enforcement and firefighters overseeing the parks, as well as other officers patrolling elsewhere throughout the city. Penalties for those caught selling or using these types of fireworks can include heavy fines and jail time.
To report the use of illegal fireworks, please call Dublin Police at 925-462-1212. You can report illegal activity anonymously.
The City of Dublin allows the sale of "Safe and Sane" fireworks to benefit local non-profit organizations. For more information, and to find the list of organizations and their booth locations, visit www.dublin.ca.gov/fireworks.
Celebrating 40 Years of "National Night Out"!
Dublin Police Services invites the community to participate in the 2023 National Night Out, to be held on Tuesday, August 1, throughout the community. This annual event, now celebrating its 40th anniversary, is designed to promote civic pride and unity among neighbors who share an anti-drug and anti-crime stance.
National Night Out was introduced by the National Association of Town Watch as a concept for generating greater crime prevention involvement among residents. What started with residents simply leaving their porch lights on soon progressed to something bigger: neighbors organizing cookouts, parades, neighborhood walks, festivals, rallies, and community service events, such as a park clean-up. Today, millions of people across thousands of communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and military bases join together on the first Tuesday in August to participate in National Night Out.
Representatives from the Dublin City Council, the City of Dublin, Alameda County Fire, Dublin Area CHP, and Dublin Police are excited to meet with residents during this year's National Night Out on August 1, 2023. Those who register their events with Dublin Police will receive a visit from one or more of the agencies above.
Register here by Friday, July 21, in order to receive a visit from public safety or City of Dublin officials.
Dublin Police Invite Residents to Attend a Neighborhood Watch Meeting on Tuesday, July 11
Join Dublin Police Services for a Crime Prevention and Neighborhood Watch meeting on Tuesday, July 11, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., at Shannon Community Center.
Neighborhood Watch aims to bring together the community's interests in crime deterrence, volunteerism, and neighborhood preparedness. Neighborhood Watch is a "team" approach in which residents work with each other, with City staff, and with Police Services to reduce crime in Dublin. When neighbors organize and watch out for each other, crime is drastically reduced.
No reservation required.
Annual Summer Concert Series Continues Through August 3rd at Emerald Glen Park
There's still plenty of great music ahead during the City of Dublin's annual Summer Concert Series, held each Thursday night, through August 3, at the Emerald Glen Park Amphitheater.
The concerts are held on the same night as the Dublin Farmers' Market. Shop early for your favorite produce, and then pick up some hot food and dessert, or kettle corn (a Farmers' Market favorite), to enjoy during the concerts. The Dublin Lions Club is also on hand with beer and wine sales. Be sure to bring low-back chairs or blankets for sitting on the amphitheater lawn.
July 6 - The Big Jangle - Tom Petty tribute band
July 13 - The Deep Fakes - Top rock, pop, and dance hits from the '70s to today
July 20 - Houserockers - 10-piece rock and soul band
July 27 - The Cheeseballs - High-energy dance band
August 3 - Fleetwood Mask - Fleetwood Mac tribute band
Join the City of Dublin for a "Backyard Block Party" on Saturday, July 22
Join your neighbors at Don Biddle Community Park (6100 Horizon Parkway) on Saturday, July 22, for an all-American summer celebration! The Backyard Block Party will feature something for the whole family....a kickball tournament, curry cook-off, and family fun zone!
Schedule of Events
8:00 a.m. - Kickball Team Check-in
8:30 a.m. - Play Begins
11:00 a.m. - Block Party Begins
12:00 p.m. - Curry Cook-Off Judging Begins
1:00 p.m. - Curry Cook-Off Winners Announced
3:00 p.m. - Block Party Ends
6:00 p.m. - Championship Kickball Game
Put together your own kickball team and compete in the first Backyard Block Party Kickball Tournament. Will your team be crowned Kickball Champs?
* Ages 18+
* 12 teams (12 participants maximum per team)
* Registration Fee - $100 per team (two-game minimum)
* All participants will receive a commemorative gift and winners will receive trophies. Register here.
Best of Dublin Curry Cook-off
Sample curry dishes from your favorite Dublin restaurants and help crown Dublin's "Best Curry." Judging will begin at 12:00 p.m. Register here for a sampling ticket. The cost to sample is $5.00 per person.
Family Fun Zone
The Family Fun Zone will include yard games, a bounce houses, face painting, and more!
Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the event.
Join the City of Dublin for Evening Tours of Dublin Heritage Park and Museums
Are you interested in learning about local history? Take a guided tour of Dublin Heritage Park and Museums! Participants will have the opportunity to get an inside look at Dublin's historic buildings and Pioneer Cemetery, and hear stories of Dublin's founding.
Tours will take place at 5:30 p.m. on the following Thursday evenings:
There is a $5.00 charge to participate. Register here.
The Wave is a Great Place to Spend a Summer's Day!
Looking for a fun place to entertain the whole family this summer? Visit The Wave, the City of Dublin's state-of-the-art recreation and aquatic complex. Located at picturesque Emerald Glen Park, The Wave boasts something for everyone.
The Wave features a year-round natatorium (indoor pool), used for swimming lessons, lap swimming, fitness classes, and recreational swimming; the Paul McCreary Sports Pool, which is home to the Dublin Green Gators Swim Team, and is also used for recreational swimming (when the waterpark is open), as well as fitness swimming and aqua aerobics; a Splash Zone, featuring an outdoor boardwalk-themed water playground with a beach-style entry, two small waterslides, and interactive water play features; a 48-foot tall slide tower with six thrilling waterslides; a concession stand with an expanded menu; and a community room, available to rent for parties and meetings. Season passes are available for Dublin residents.
In addition to discounted pricing for veterans and active duty military (and their families), individual areas of the complex, as well as full park buyouts, are available to rent during the waterpark's off hours.
Visit TheDublinWave.com for more information!