South Pasadena’s revenue-challenged $28.6 million city budget will be on the agenda tonight as the city council opens a public hearing and begins discussing its draft 2019-2020 spending plan.
Council will hear a presentation on projected spending and revenue from its finance director and get budget reports from department heads. It will hear a presentation on the city’s economic development outlook and short-term goals, and another on the city’s budget-related community outreach efforts.
The city now projects a deficit of about $500,000 in the coming fiscal year, rising to $1 million in five years. But when “undetermined variances” are included, the respective figures are $1 million and $2 million.
The budget will be submitted to the Finance Commission prior to returning to the Council on June 5 for approval. The public hearing on the budget will formally close on May 31.
There will also be a report and discussion on “potential economic vitality strategies.” Such strategies are needed “to address the competitiveness of the City’s commercial districts,” according to a staff report. “At present South Pasadena residents need to leave the community to purchase many of the goods and services they desire.”
The Council will review a separate, draft “long-term financial sustainability strategy.” Expenses are increasing every year, according to another staff report, and due to “flat or declining revenues, the current structure of services is not sustainable.”
Also tonight, the city plans to approve nearly $6 million in routine warrants, salary and other payments under its consent agenda.
In closed session, the city will “conference with labor negotiators” about negotiations with its police, fire and public service associations, as well as unrepresented employees.
Litigation over the L.A. County and cities’ storm water drainage permit will also be discussed. Although the county and cities recently got a mostly positive ruling in the long-running battle, the City of Gardena is considering what some believe would be a “reckless” motion to throw out the permit, while the City of Duarte is trying to get some of the 84 municipal parties to join its request to simply seek a narrow revision of the judgment.