City Manager Deanna Santana Projects $33 Million Deficits for Next Two Years Caused by COVID-19

By Robert Haugh

This week, City Manager Deanna Santana issued a community letter about the economic impact of COVID-19.

On May 12, the City Council will discuss the current year deficit and projections for FY 2020/21.

Here’s a snapshot of what Santana is projecting:

Santa Clara is feeling the fiscal impact just like local and state governments across the nation. And a lot still remains unknown.

“These estimates are based on the current information that we have available and there remains uncertainty with the economic forecast,” wrote Santana. “Further, since we still do not know the long-lasting impacts of COVID-19 or whether full economic recovery will happen when the State of California begins to re-open based on the Governor’s framework.”

Santana outlined some actions the City has taken already to reduce expenditures:

  • Hiring freeze, with limited exceptions
  • Stricter expenditure controls
  • Decreased approximately 50% of temporary staffing
  • Limited travel
  • Limited training
  • Reduced expenditures for IT
  • Reduced expenditures for vehicle/fleet purchases
  • Evaluating current contracts and other non-personnel expenditures

Additional cuts for next year that the City may implement, according to Santana, include the following: 

  • Reduced parks and recreation programming
  • Fewer library hours and/or programming
  • Longer planning, code enforcement, and public safety response times
  • Fewer community events and grants
  • Reduced or deferred capital infrastructure maintenance
  • Less administrative staff to support quick public service
  • Reduced programs
  • Potential layoffs


  1. “Santa Clara City Manager Deanna Santana, among the highest paid city managers in the state in 2018, will get an 11.2 percent pay raise after more than two years on the job. The “merit-based” raise, which comes out to an additional $45,171 a year, brings Santana’s base salary to $448,491.”

    WOW. NO MENTION OF THIS?? How is she getting a merit-based raise with a DEFICIT in the city budget? Why is the city manager of Santa Clara the highest paid in the nation? The first step to a better city is removing the cause of our problems – Deanna Santana.

  2. First off, there will NOT be a slower response time by public safety. That’s fear mongering. Stop it. Second, where is the $89 million in reserves for a rainy day? Its raining, time to use it instead of misleading the public.

    I’m all for necessary cuts, but laying it out like people will be less safe in their homes and the end is near is poor leadership, and incomplete reporting.

  3. It’s nice to hear Patty is doing well. I don’t believe that is Homer writing this.

  4. This is going to be devastating to our city. I truly hope this does not affect future community events like the 4th of July picnic in 2021 and so on.
    We need a really good balancing act to pull this off. We can trim lots of fat in spending and put money towards essential and community benefits.
    I truly hope this does not ruin the downtown plan. With the nation spiraling to a recession I hope we have a chance to continue this grassroots community driven plan.
    I am hoping the city can come up with ways to get revenue without such deep cuts. One is the cannabis tax that hasn’t been used yet….. may not be a lot but it is something, and during these times that business is doing solid. Our city needs this leadership during this time like coming up with solutions rather than giving up.

    Whatever it takes to build up our reserves again and balancing the costs of essential services and community benefits should be priority… that is spending tax dollars wisely.

    We will get through this together as a community. We always find a way.

    #StaySantaClaraStrong #MissionCity #WeLoveSantaClara #PSRW #PublicService

    • As a Park Recreation Commissioner, I know how much joy our events bring to the City of Santa Clara. While I will miss attending these events this year, we must keep our eye on what is most important which is the health and safety of our citizens. I appreciate all the work that City staff is doing to keep us safe especially our public safety employees.

  5. Stop the new construction! You have brought all these builders in..the cost in water, electric power, traffic, and usage of
    community resources, services providers such as Fire Dept and Police Dept is going to be overwhelming.
    We do not want to have our taxes raised due to the city’s overspending and decisions to let more and more building go up!!

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