Closing the budget gap

The Rent Control Board plans to take a deeper look at proposals to raise revenues to cover looming budget deficits in advance of a public hearing on the subject in June.

The board asked its staff Thursday to come to that meeting with a variety of scenarios surrounding a proposed registration fee increase that could close the deficit and leave the accounts with a surplus in excess of $100,000.

The current budget plans for a $15 increase in annual fees for each rent controlled apartment registered in Santa Monica, and, for the first time, anticipates splitting that fee between landlords and tenants.

While many board members seemed comfortable with the concept, they have asked for three scenarios on June 13 that include smaller increases and the possibility of phasing the changes in over time so that landlords are not hit with any level of increase all at once.

At the same time, two board members will join an ad hoc committee to explore other ways to raise revenues.

The public hearing is scheduled for June 13.

— Ashley Archibald


Late report results in ‘F’ for City Hall

Elementary school students learn the hard way that late homework means a failing grade, and the same is true for City Hall.

City Hall was called out by the city of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation Wednesday in a list of 18 water quality miscreants that got a slap on the wrist for their transgressions in 2012.

This list, published in the Los Angeles Times, identifies “significant noncompliant industrial users,” putting Santa Monica Charnock Well Field up with jail facilities and a metal finishing shop.

Unlike some of the other names that appear, however, Santa Monica is guilty of a slight oversight, said Lonnie Ayers, project engineer of permitting and enforcement with the Los Angeles Department of Public Works.

The employee responsible for turning in a water-quality sampling report had resigned, and the completed report lingered in city offices for over a month past the due date.

All of the testing, however, had been completed and showed that City Hall did not exceed any discharge limits under its permits.

Chemicals discharged can include arsenic, chromium, copper, lead, oil and grease, said Gilbert Borboa, who’s in charge of the Santa Monica’s water supply.

There’s no administrative penalty at this time, Ayers said.

Although other corporations and organizations have exceeded water quality standards, the number of violators has dropped significantly since Los Angeles began an education campaign.

“We used to publish 35 or 40 names. Now we’re down to 18,” Ayers said.



Free Ferris wheels rides for mom

For everyone out there still stressing on what to get their mom for Mother’s Day, you can now breathe a little easier. Pacific Park is offering a free family photo and a Ferris wheel ride for moms this Sunday.

To celebrate the day of motherly appreciation the Ferris wheel will radiate a special sequence of pink, turquoise and yellow lights.

To receive the free photo and ride, all mom has to do is go to the ticket booth between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. The Mother’s Day light display will take place between 8 p.m. to 12 a.m.

— Henry Crumblish

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.