City of South Pasadena | City Budget Outreach Extended to May 24

Finance Commission to Review Budget Options May 26th

SouthPasadenan.com News | South Pasadena City Hall

PRESS RELEASE:

The City has extended the online public outreach tool and survey for the annual budget to Monday, May 24. The City of South Pasadena is facing financial challenges as a result of the current economic climate and has invited the public to provide input regarding priorities for City resources for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Residents are invited to visit the site here: stories.opengov.com/southpasadenaca/published to review financial forecasts, hear summaries of each department budget, and provide feedback on distribution of limited funds in coming years. The survey will close on 11:59 p.m. on the 24th and results will be presented to the Finance Commission and City Council along with draft budget recommendations.

The Finance Commission will meet on Tuesday, May 26th at 9:00 am to review the survey results and draft budget recommendations from staff.  The Commission will provide comments and advisory recommendations to City Council regarding future budget strategies. The meeting will be broadcast live on the city’s cable channel and streamed live on the City website.

Following the Finance Commission meeting, a draft budget will be presented to the City Council on June 3, 2020 for review, with adoption scheduled for June 17, 2020.

The budget engagement process was significantly condensed this year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.  Initial budget projections had to be scrapped and replaced with new revenue projections showing significant reductions in sales tax, property tax, and user fees.  Current estimates show a loss of $3.5 million in revenue, or 12% of the General Fund, that must be balanced with cuts in expenditures.

ONLINE PLATFORM & SURVEY

Due to the health crisis and social distancing guidelines, the City has created a fully digital community budget engagement program. The platform includes visual information about the municipal budget accompanied by narratives from each department, an interactive activity that allows residents to adjust the priorities for city departments and see the tradeoffs of their choices, and a survey on specific City services and programs.

SPECIAL FINANCE COMMISSION MEETING

The public meeting will be conducted as a publicly broadcast video conference between Staff and the Commissioners only. Members of the community can view the meetings and participate by submitting comments and questions in advance via email.

  • The agenda and report will be posted to the City’s website.
  • The meeting will be live streamed and also broadcast live on Spectrum/TWC Channel 19 and AT&T Channel 99 for cable customers who reside in the City.
  • Public Comments are accepted via email: FCPublicComment@southpasadenaca.gov:
  • Public Comments will be accepted for the special Finance Commission Meeting from the time the agenda is posted to 5 p.m. the day before the meeting, May 25, to allow staff time to compile comments prior to the meeting.
  • Comments will be distributed to the Commission for consideration and will be posted on the City’s website for public review.
  • Please indicate whether you would like to have your comment read during the meeting, limited to 150 words.
  • Comments Guidelines:
    • Subject Line: Indicate Meeting Date and Agenda Item or indicate if it is a General Public Comment (4/13/2020, Agenda Item #10)
    • Include your name and address
    • Public Comment in the body of the email
    • Comments should be in accordance with the City’s Council Statement of Civility: We treat each other, members of the public and city employees with patience, civility and courtesy as a model of the same behavior we wish to reflect in South Pasadena for the conduct of all city business and community participation.

The Budget serves as a “blueprint” for providing City services and as a working financial plan for the fiscal year.  It reflects City policies, goals, and priorities and provides an overall plan for allocating City resources to a variety of programs and services.  The budget process has evolved with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the economy. The City of South Pasadena forecasts immediate budget deficits that will hinder its ability to maintain service levels. While there are many uncertainties and changes that will inevitably dictate the City’s financial future we will be proposing a budget to serve as a reference point for the city’s future plans.

If you would like to participate in the budget process, please visit our website or submit your comment to: budget@southpasadenaca.gov.