Though Down 7%, Santa Monica City Budget Maintains Some Costly Items
Moving forward massively expensive "global environmental statement" of a City Hall Annex at $77 million ($1,528/ square foot).
July 1, 2019
The Santa Monica City Council approved a nearly $1.6 million budget for 2019-2021 on Tuesday. This is $108 million less than the previous two-year budget, a decrease of 7 percent.
While cutting 29 jobs, now vacant, allegedly lowering administrative costs, and trimming some childcare programs, the city will still be funding - or even increasing funding - on some controversial matters. Funding for homeless services will be boosted, despite a distinct lack of evidence that the money already spent on this issue has produced any particular results. Furthermore, the city insists on going forward with their massively expensive "global environmental statement" of a City Hall Annex at $77 million ($1,528/ square foot).
Another new expenditure in the budget will be $100,000 to fund "city ambassadors" for Reed Park. Residents and the City's Recreation and Parks Commission have expressed concerns about the behavior of unsavory individuals in the city's parks. Reed Park, in particular, located across from Saint Monica's Church, seems to experience a significant number of individuals engaging in extremely antisocial behavior, such as public use of illicit drugs, public fornication, and public urination and defecation. (There's a public bathroom right there, but why use it?)
Part of the city's financial worries comes from an obligation to make up the massive shortfall in CALPERS. The state pension fund suffered badly during the 2008 recession. Local governments throughout California now have to make up the difference between the pensions the state promised workers and what is actually in the fund. The current budget will make a $9.3 million payment to CALPERS, the first of a series of payments that need to be made over the next 13 years.