August 22, 2019 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

6 Citizens, $4 Million in Budget Reductions

City looking for members of the public for budget task force 

By Sam Catanzaro

The City of Santa Monica, anticipating a budget shortfall, is looking for six members of the public to serve on a task force to make recommendations for at least $4 million in reductions between 2020 and 2023. 

The 11-member Budget Task Force, comprised of six community members and five members from the city staff, will advise City Manager Rick Cole on options and priorities for addressing budget shortfalls over the coming six years. 

Cole announced the task force in an August 5 blog post. According to the City Manager, Santa Monica’s traditional ways of budgeting and economic and forecasting face challenges. Established revenue streams are growing at a slower rate due to macroeconomic changes while pension costs are projected to increase significantly to address statewide unfunded public pension liabilities. 

“Santa Monica is not immune to impacts from national and global economic trends,” Cole said. “Santa Monica recognizes that profound technological, economic and demographic changes are reshaping our lives, affecting both the public and private sectors and rendering old ways of doing business and delivering services increasingly obsolete.” 

Santa Monica’s final budget is $712.9 million for FY 2019-20 and $756.4 million for FY 2020-21. Last year’s adopted budget was $802.1 million. 

The $712.9 million includes a $9.3 million payment towards Santa Monica’s unfunded pension liability. According to the City, this is part of a strategy to accelerate payments to fully fund Santa Monica’s pension obligations within 13 years, saving over $100 million in interest costs over 30 years. Because the City is spending more money now to pay off their pension obligations, after decades of being financially in the green, the City of Santa Monica is forecasted to go into the red over the next decade as it pays off $448 million in unpaid pensions to the state. 

“The City forecasts a budget shortfall to grow to between $34 and $47 million, driven largely by sharply rising pension costs and flattening revenues,” the City said in a press release earlier this year. 

To account for this shortfall, the Budget Task Force will evaluate ideas generated by City Departments and make recommendations for  $1.5 million in budget reductions in Fiscal Year 2020-2021 and a minimum of $2.5 million in reductions in Fiscal Years 2021-2023. 

Relevant experience in business, public sector and non-profit management and innovation alongside basic knowledge of financial matters are among the qualifications for task force members. 

August 30, 2019, is the deadline for application submissions. 

Related Posts

Santa Monica Sees Nearly 9 Percent Spike in Part 1 Crimes

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

SMPD Chief Cynthia Renaud gives crime update. By Sam Catanzaro Over the past month, Santa Monica has experienced a string...

Man Charged for Murdering Mother

February 4, 2019

February 4, 2019

Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office files charges on Stephen Lloyd Fader. By Staff Writer The Los Angeles County District...

Fighting Fires, Tackling Homelessness, Saving Lives

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

The role of fire departments in 21st-century urban centers.  By Keldine Hull Do firefighters fight fires? Obviously, but most of...

SM City Defends Temporary Protective Status for Immigrants

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Staff Writer Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously at their January 22 meeting to join an amicus brief to...

SMPD Mounted Patrol Aids in Arrest

February 5, 2019

February 5, 2019

By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) carried out an arrest on February 1 with the aid of horses....

MDR Oil Well Explosion Sparks Debate

February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019

Jan. 18 incident sheds light on the dangers of oil wells in the city. By Tor Marom Discussions on public...

State of the City: Climate Change, Communication Among Challenges Facing Santa Monica

February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019

Mayor Davis delivers annual address. By Tor Marom This past Wednesday, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce held its annual...

Santa Monica and ‘Big One’ Preparedness

July 8, 2019

July 8, 2019

All it took was 10-20 seconds for the 1994 Northridge earthquake to rattle Southern California in a way no earthquake had done before. Dozens of people lost their lives and thousands more were injured as the state reeled from a catastrophic event that cost billions in damages

Santa Monica Man Arrested for Attempting to Murder Girlfriend

February 12, 2019

February 12, 2019

Kevin Ferron charged with attacking girlfriend Anna Koosman. By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) have arrested a...

Fire Damages Santa Monica High Rise

February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

Shores Apartments unit catches fire Monday night.  By Staff Writer A Santa Monica high rise by the beach caught fire Monday...

SMPD to Conduct Bike and Pedestrian Safety Enforcement

February 13, 2019

February 13, 2019

Citations and increased enforcement Feb. 15 and 18. By Staff Writer  The Santa Monica Police Department will be conducting bike...

Judge’s Final Ruling Orders Districts, Special Election

February 17, 2019

February 17, 2019

Final judgement calls for July 2 special election to choose new council.  By Sam Catanzaro  A final judgment has been...

Santa Monica Police Seize 29 Guns, Cocaine, Meth and Heroin

February 20, 2019

February 20, 2019

By Staff Writer  On February 15,  the Santa Monica Police Department’s (SMPD) Narcotics/Vice Unit along with SWAT served multiple search...

Adapting to Santa Monica’s Single-Use Plastic Ban

February 21, 2019

February 21, 2019

City’s disposable food-ware ordinance under effect. By Keldine Hull When an updated Disposable Food Service Ware Ordinance went into effect...

Council Votes Unanimously to Appeal District-Election Ruling

February 22, 2019

February 22, 2019

City of Santa Monica to appeal ruling that elections are in violation of CRVA.  By Sam Catanzaro On February 21,...