CITY HALL — Despite a balanced budget for the next fiscal year, City Hall officials are looking into options to boost revenue by possibly asking voters to approve one or more ballot measures this November.
City Hall on Sunday began polling residents by phone about their support for possible “revenue enhancements” that could help shore up Santa Monica’s long-term finances.
Kate Vernez, assistant to the City Manager, on Tuesday declined to release the questions City Hall is asking during the poll, citing concern that discussing the poll in detail publicly could make its results less reliable. She also declined to say whether the potential “revenue enhancements” would be new taxes or fees.
“I don’t want to go into a lot of detail because I don’t want to bias the poll,” she said.
Besides seeking input on potential ballot measures, the poll also aims to gauge attitudes toward City Hall’s budget priorities, she said.
The poll, which is being conducted by the Santa Monica firm Fairbank Maslin Maullin Metz & Associates, cost City Hall $27,195, Vernez said. It aims to gather the opinions of 500 registered Santa Monica voters.
Vernez said the City Council was briefed on the plan to survey residents during public budget hearings last month but did not have to vote on whether to conduct the poll. She said results of the poll, along with possible staff recommendations for ballot measures, will be presented to the council at a meeting this summer.
The council would have to act quickly to place a measure on the ballot.
Beth Sanchez, assistant city clerk, said her office has to file ballot measures for the Nov. 2 election with Los Angeles County by Aug. 6. The last regularly scheduled meeting at which the council could decide to place a city-wide measure on the ballot is July 27.