Mayor Decries County Supervisors "Unfair" Lack of Funding for Measure H Homeless Initiatives in Pasadena

Published : Sunday, October 21, 2018 | 7:36 AM

Pasadena’s Mayor sent a letter Friday to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors asking for a “more equitable” distribution of Measure H funds to Pasadena for combatting homelessness and that Supervisors allow the City to decide how best to use the funds.

Mayor Terry Tornek told Supervisors Board Chair Sheila Kuehl that because Pasadena has 1.2% of the County’s homeless it should have received $7.9 million in the 2017-2019 period but has only been allocated $1.2 million by Supervisors.

Worse still, Tornek pointed out Pasadena will contribute about $12.25 million in Measure H taxes but will receive only one-tenth as much back in direct funding.

“This is simply unfair in view of our needs and our proven capacity,” Tornek wrote.

Read the full letter here

The County-sponsored Measure H Sales Tax for Homeless Services and Prevention was approved by voters in the March 7, 2017 election. The Measure about $355 million annually, according to an August 2018 report by the L.A. County Homeless Initiative.

Tornek also said in his letter that because the money is released to Pasadena for specific uses which Pasadena doesn’t need or can’t use, the City has had to decline funds at a time when money is lacking for needed projects.

“I urge the Board of Supervisors to provide us with a more equitable allocation of direct Measure H funding by either ‘block granting’ the Pasadena Continuum of Care its pro-rata share of funding and allowing us to determine how the funds are allocated based on the needs of our population or allowing us to receive our pro-rata share of additional measure H strategies beyond the handful we have been offered to date,” Tornek said in the letter.

The letter echoes a theme of Tornek’s remarks in relation to a different and current measure, the upcoming Measure I City of Pasadena sales tax proposal set for the November 6 ballot.

The Mayor has often said that County and State agencies collect more tax money in Pasadena than they return to the City for use to help local residents.

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