Santa Monica to Consider Budgets of More Than $600 Million

Monday, 23 May 2011, 3:18:00 PM

Parimal M. Rohit

The Santa Monica City Council will spend three days reviewing its biennial budget, which covers nearly $1.3 billion in expenditures for fiscal years 2011, 2012, and 2013. A joint meeting with the council, the Public Financing Authority (PFA), and the Redevelopment Authority (RDA) will also be convened to consider immediate funding opportunities. All city departments will discuss its specific budgets with the council.

The City’s biennial budget presentation includes a proposed budget for $647.1 million in Fiscal Year 2011-12 and $624.2 million in Fiscal Year 2012-13.

The crux of the three-day workshop starts on on May 24 and will focus on the biennial budget study session presentations, with most departments, such as city Manager, city attorney, finance, and planning, discussing its financial forecasts.

On May 25, Santa Monica police and fire departments will join, the Big Blue Bus (BBB), housing and economic development, public works, and capital improvements in making budget presentations.

Finally, the May 26 study session will see presentations for community and cultural services and grant funding recommendations. The council will also discuss the City’s lease and use of facilities at Santa Monica High School (SaMoHi).

“The size of these budgets is indicative of the breadth, depth, and diversity of services, projects, and activities undertaken by the City of Santa Monica for public safety, quality of life, infrastructure maintenance, transportation and development-related services,” City Manager Rod Gould said in a statement included in the budget presentation. “In many ways, Santa Monica operates similarly to a small county despite its compact 8.3 square mile land area. The two largest components of the budgets are the General Fund and Redevelopment Fund.”

As the proposed budget is generally presented to the public each May and adopted in June, the City has now implanted a biennial budget to “make the overall process more efficient.”

Once the two-year spending plan is adopted, staff is expected to “return to council frequently, with mid-year and year-end reports and adjustments, and ask council to adopt an annual budget.”

Upon adoption, the budget is then made available online on the City’s Website (smgov.net) and includes a “supplemental document detailing revenue and expenditure line item budgets for each department.”

With $647.1 million and $624.2 million in expenditures planned for Fiscal Years 2011-12 and 2012-13 respectively, respectively, the budget also accounts for $532.9 million and $535.5 million in revenues, respectively, for the same 24-month period. That translates into losses of about $114.2 million for Fiscal Year 2011-12 and $88.7 million for Fiscal Year 2012-13.

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