City officials gave the council an opportunity to delay reducing the plan, although council approval is only required if the top three levels of the plan are reached or exited. Regardless of this, the council finally agreed with the city staff that after a brief discussion it was time to downsize the stage.
Councilor Jim McCarthy asked city budgeters to provide a forecast of upcoming city spending before giving approval, claiming that discussions were limited to "one side of the equation".
Rick Tadder, director of management services, stated that the city's spending has been reduced during the economic downturn and that overall costs are expected to be lower.
By the time the discussion closed, the recession plan had received praise from both council members and city officials for its successful implementation over the past year. The plan was finalized a few months before the COVID-19 outbreak and approved by the city council in April 2020.
"Once the ink was dry on that thing, we put it into action," said Clifton.
What makes the plan effective is that the city budget can be topped up as Flagstaff gets in and out of economic downturns, Clifton explained. Without such measures, the Council would have limited itself to changing the entire budget.
"Without this recession plan ahead, the Council's response to the ensuing recession could have resulted in draconian measures," said Cliffton. "If we had just changed the budget, we would be tied to these budget changes and could not make these adjustments on the fly."