The adopted budget for fiscal year 2011, which began July 1, eliminates 58 positions throughout the city's workforce and increases fees for everything from Children's Theatre tickets to pet spay and neutering.
But the council voted to scrap some of the most controversial cuts that City Manager James Keene had proposed: eliminating funding for school-crossing guards, the Police Department's fraud-investigation unit and the five-officer traffic-enforcement team.
Council members also dropped another highly unpopular proposal — to shift half the cost of the city's sidewalk-repair program to residents. The move would have saved the city about $299,000. But the council agreed the proposal is too convoluted and that the administrative burdens would be too high.
The council also rejected a revenue-generating idea: entrance fees for Foothills Park, Pearson-Arastradero Preserve and the Baylands.
The council split over a recommendation from its Finance Committee to cut council members' own salaries by 10 percent. The move would have been largely symbolic, saving the city about $7,000. Each council member draws a $7,200 annual salary.
"I think it's important to make a statement, however symbolic it is, to our city employees and to our citizens that the council also is going to come up and take a small cut," Councilman Larry Klein said.
But Councilman Greg Schmid opposed the salary cut and said the city needs to provide incentives if it wants to attract the best candidates.
After a lengthy debate, the council voted 4-5 to reject the proposal, with Klein, Mayor Pat Burt and Councilmen Yiaway Yeh and Sid Espinosa supporting the cut.
The council unanimously supported major planning studies, however: a $90,000 study of the Caltrain Corridor in Palo Alto; and a $30,000 study of El Camino Real design guidelines in south Palo Alto.
The budget eliminates maintenance and administrative positions citywide. Maintenance of several local parks would be contracted out, as would the city's printing and mailing services.
The Police Department would lose one member of its traffic team and the crime analyst responsible for collecting demographic data at traffic stops. The Library Department would also lose a few positions, forcing library hours to be shortened. The Fire Department would lose a hazardous-materials specialist.
"We will be a leaner organization," Keene said.