City Hall could be facing a $29 million budget deficit by 2018 unless officials can increase revenues or make cuts to programs.

 

So this week, Q-Line asked: 

 

What do you think could be trimmed to ensure that the city’s coffers are not depleted in the next couple of years?

 

Here are your responses:

 

“Well, I think a great way that costs should be cut in this lovely city of San-Malicious would be to have the City Council quit paying themselves huge salaries. And, of course, some of the road crews working day and night — I think that they could also cut their salaries. So that’s my answer. One could trim a lot of money and put the money towards teachers. Teachers and police officers. And, of course, better drivers for the local bus service, including the blue line.”

 

“The city coffers will be saved only if they trim the fat out of the staffing throughout the city, except for the police and fire department personnel. And stop the ridiculous bonuses and perks. Let these creatures just do their damn jobs and be very glad they have one. Also, stop outsourcing work to “consulting agencies” — they’re always doing that — and excessively-paid vendors of one kind or another. What do the hired city personnel do anyway? Last, but certainly not least, get rid of the mooching con artists, bums, drug addicts, alcoholics, runaway teenagers and other assorted cruds. Oh, and stop building low-income tenements for more budget-draining creatures. The middle class is not going to be around very much longer for you to tax into their own poverty.”

 

“Please. Stop adding your so-called improvements to all the streets in Santa Monica. These medians with special trees planted in them and all kinds of things to impede the flow of traffic do nothing but cost money. And it does; it stops the flow of traffic. Please stop wasting money on frivolous things like that.”

 

“City Hall could be cutting by cutting administrator salaries — probably administrator staff — and the ridiculous consulting fees they pay everybody.”

 

“Well, you know, with the comrades on the City Council, we are looking at another revenue enhancement. Don’t you just love that term for more taxes? Do you believe we are $29 million in the hole? We have a $600 million budget. I bet I can lop off at least 25 percent and still run the important programs in this town. Start with cutting the $8 million waste fixing the pier. Stop funding all these non-profits that really help themselves. Stop all vote-buying of low-informational people by cutting tax-supported, public low-income housing. Losing the state redevelopment funds was one of the best things to have happened to Santa Monica. Stop trying to save the world with costly green power. Stop the free lunches. Stop PYFC. Stop the light rail. Stop being foolish and believing the oily propagandists at City Hall are on your side.”

 

“If the city wishes to trim costs perhaps they should look at our local Apple Store. Prior to moving to its new location on the Third Street Promenade it was noted to be a million dollar per day grossing store — the highest daily grossing store per day in our nation. The sales and business tax that provides our city is enormous. The new, bigger store will hopefully provide even more bucks for the city. Now if they can make Apple be like Starbucks is on every corner of the promenade the budget problems should be solved.”

 

“The projected deficit is $29 million unless the city cuts spending, or raises taxes. The taxpayers have a legal obligation to pay the pension contributions of our fine police and fire department officers and other city employees. If we stop funding new regional social service programs we can  balance the budget without raising taxes. The homeless in Santa Monica are not here because they lost their home to foreclosure or were evicted from an apartment. They are here because ‘if you build it they will come.’ No new homeless shelters. We need to stop funding Community Corp. of Santa Monica (CCSM) low-income housing projects, since the majority of the occupants move here from outside the city to bolster Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights voter base. Every shooting in Pico Neighborhood is adjacent to a city funded low-income housing project, which is why the head of the housing department and the executive director of CCSM won’t live next to their own low-income projects. The same applies to Step Up on Second. The city has funded four  projects for the mentally ill; most of the residents came from outside of our city, and the Step Up executive director doesn’t live in Santa Monica. Let the other cities in L.A. County do their fair share. Fund city pensions without raising taxes.”

 

“How many overpaid union workers in our town are needed to paint a line in the street? Ten staff workers to think it up, 25 people in the Planning Department to study it, 20 people in the traffic department to OK it, 10 engineers to figure it out and one guy to actually paint it.”

 

“That the city’s coffers are going down frankly stretches credulity. The taxes alone from new hotels, the Miramar expansion and dozens of developments such as Bergamot ought to see multi-millions pouring into the general fund, not to speak of the extra sales tax. However, does Rod Gould and his sidekick need to earn presidential and vice-presidential salaries? I think not. Do part-time council members need the salary and benefits they are getting? I think not! Council members ought to serve without pay and benefits. Their only compensation ought to be the satisfaction of serving Santa Monica and its residents.”