Monterey Park City Council got a peek Tuesday, May 26, at a $35.9 million spending city budget that was described as “status quo” without major changes in expenses or revenues.
After getting an overall look at the citywide spending and potential revenues council began a department-by-department detailed reviews of departments.
The budget hearings are expected to continue Wednesday, May 27.
One bit of good news is that property taxes and sales taxes went up slightly. City property values jumped so that the average house price is now about $636,000 in the city.
City Council generally agree to make an effort cut back its unfunded $68.2 million retirement liability owed to CalPers, the state’s retirement agency. The city will make early payments on the debt, similar to paying a home loan by paying extra amounts at each payment. The goal is to pay it off within 10 years, but one council member wanted to do it earlier.
At the Tuesday night meeting, the council began the department reviews by checking the police and fire departments, and then moving on to the city council, city attorney and city clerks budgets. Police department budget accounts for $16.7 million and the Fire Department totals $11.7 million.
The budget book detailed the city’s Capital Improvement Projects. Street construction projects will total $2.3 million; Water Capital Projects, $5.9 million and community capital projects, $2.4 million.
Additional staffing in the budget included one part-time animal control officer, two part time record clerk and one part time evidence officer in the Police Department. The Library will change a senior Library clerk for a Librarian. City Clerk’s office will increase a minutes clerk from half time to a three-quarter-time clerk.
Several years ago in the midst of a major national recession and decline in city revenues nearly 20 positions were laid off and some jobs left vacant or eliminated from the city staffing. City Staffing in 2009 totaled 415 positions compared to 348 in the proposed budget.
(Editor’s note: a copy proposed city 2015-16 budget is available for review in the City Clerk’s office.