The Falls Church city manager issued a memorandum last week to the mayor and City Council pronouncing the city's fiscal outlook healthy for 1991 but outlining actions to be taken by government offices to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
In a two-page summary of his office's mid-year assessment, City Manager John V. Doane said that Falls Church "is not in any serious financial difficulty this fiscal year." He warned, however, of a future economic climate in which state funds will decline and the city's general fund revenue will not grow to keep up with inflation. He projected a shortfall of about $300,000, or about 1 percent of the city's $25 million budget.
"I felt there was sufficient interest to merit some sort of informational report. That's the motivation" behind the mid-year memo, said Doane, who hopes city department heads will heed his warning as they go about their 1992 projections. "What's coming ahead is going to face us during our budget cycle."
The memo advised departments not to include plans for expansion or new programs in their budget proposals.
Doane said in a telephone interview last week that all departments will undergo budgetary scrutiny and cited the Department of Public Works as an example of an area where efficiency can be improved by bringing its organizational structure in line with the needs of the day.
In addition, Doane's memo announced that although there is not an official hiring freeze, the city would not fill several vacant positions and expenditures for staff travel and training would be reduced.
Also, the city's contract for the sweeping of streets will be reconstructed and scheduled procurement of some goods and services may be delayed.
"I think we can make it less painful if we can anticipate some of these things this year instead of waiting for that magical moment when one fiscal year turns into the next," said Doane.