City Manager Delivers Proposed $872.5 Million Operating Budget for Next Fiscal Year to City Council Tonight

City Manager Steve Mermell said that without the new revenues from Measure I, the 2020 budget would have required $3.6 million in cost-cutting; instead, he predicts a surplus

Published : Sunday, April 28, 2019 | 3:17 PM

City Manager Steve Mermell will present a draft $872.4 million fiscal year 2020 operating budget for Pasadena to the City Council on Monday night, proposing a 6.8% spending bump of $55.8 million and the hiring of just two new full-time equivalent positions.

City Manager Steve Mermell's proposed fiscal year 2020 operating budget for the City of Pasadena is 6.8% larger than last year's adopted budget. Image courtesy City of Pasadena

Mermell’s presentation will open a series of public hearings on the spending plan which will continue every Monday until June 17, when the budget is expected to be finalized and presented for final adoption.

The City’s operating budget is prepared on a fiscal year basis commencing July 1. The budget represents the City’s spending plan and serves as an expenditure guideline for all City operations including general city services as well as city utility enterprise operations.

Mermell will also present the recommended fiscal years 2020-2024 budget for Pasadena’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which contains 200 active CIP projects carrying a total estimated cost of $903.8 million and a total recommended appropriation of $87.98 million to 139 projects.

The Finance Department said 27 new projects have been added to the Capital Improvement Program.

In addition, the CIP Budget contains a “Future Projects” section which identifies an additional 58 unfunded projects with a total estimated cost of $306 million.

City-prepared chart shows that, without revenues from the new city sales tax passed last November, the fiscal year 2020 budget would have required $3.6 million cuts to city services in order to be balanced.

In a transmittal letter that accompanies the budget submission Monday, Mermell took note of the impact of the new sales tax revenues provided by Measure I, passed by voters on the November 2018 ballot, on the 2020 proposed budget.

“Without the additional revenues provided by Measure I, the Recommended Operating Budget for FY2020 would require reductions exceeding $3.6 million to be balanced without the use of reserves. Thankfully, due to the passage of Measure I, not only is the recommended operating budget for FY2020 balanced, revenues are expected to exceed by $10 million,” Mermell wrote.

Copies of the recommended operating and CIP budgets for fiscal year 2020 have been placed in the Pasadena Central Library and in the City Clerk’s Office. The documents will also available online on the City’s website,

The budget presentations to the joint City Council-Finance Committee meeting will begin Monday, May 6, at 2:30 p.m. and continue each consecutive Monday, 2:30 to 5 p.m. – except on Memorial Day, May 27 – until the budgets are recommended for adoption.

Following the review by the joint City Council-Finance Committee, the final recommended operating and CIP Budgets are scheduled to be presented to the City Council for adoption on June 17, at 7 p.m., or thereafter, if necessary.

Also on Monday, the City Council will open public hearings on the recommended schedule of taxes, fees and charges for fiscal year 2020. These hearings will continue up to May 13 or on another date as the City Council could determine.

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