Santa Monica City Hall (Daniel Archuleta

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for budget nerds.

On Tuesday, City Council will consider approval of a roughly $1.17-billion biennial budget covering fiscal years 2015-17.

Council reviewed the budget last month and made comments. Dozens of residents spoke about the budget and will be given the opportunity again on Tuesday.

One hot button issue is the potential defunding of the Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC) headed by Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education member Oscar de la Torre.

City Hall has long accused the youth-based nonprofit of disorganized bookkeeping, a claim that de la Torre has long denied.

The new budget phases out City Hall’s funding of the nonprofit altogether. Previously, the PYFC got a one-time $190,000 allocation.

Last month, few council members weighed in on the proposed funding cut, which drew dozens of PYFC and community members to testify publicly in opposition to the cuts, but Councilmember Sue Himmelrich asked for more information.

City officials reviewed operational costs and included a short report within the budget proposal.

“Based on PYFC’s most recently submitted financial information, expenses for PYFC’s rent, utilities, and City fees are currently estimated at $89,967 annually,” the report says.

No change to funding is recommended.

The budget is hundreds of pages long but many of the highlights shed light on the directions of the city.

City officials are recommending increases to certain airport charges to “fair market value.” Additionally, they’re proposing separate tie-down fees for larger aircraft.

The Woodlawn Cemetery is developing a green burial program and is boosting some fees to cover the cost for that addition.

Fines for continued use of prohibited signs, leaf blowers, and excessive noise are proposed to increase.

New fines are proposed for residents or business owners whose alarms go off unnecessarily and repeatedly drawing police or fire response.

City officials suggest a new fee to cover overnight delivery of documents to and from the Record and Election Services department.

A reduced fee for the bulk purchase of non-resident library cards is recommended.

Most city user fees will jump 3.5 percent by July 1.

City officials are proposing the creation of a part-time position tasked with monitoring the Safe Routes to School program, which aims to increase pedestrian safety for kids coming to and from the schools.

A bikeshare coordinator would be created to oversee Breeze, the bikeshare system expected to be operational by the end of the year. The worker would be paid $108,000 annually.

City Hall is also looking to hire an aquatics program coordinator, a city architect, a jail supervisor, and a bicycle program planner.

City officials recommend that they collaborate with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to find a way to speed up the renovation of the Lincoln Middle School fields, adding a new surface and lights, to increase usage by the community.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *