$3.4 million in potential service cuts to be considered
Published : Tuesday, September 18, 2018 | 4:29 PM
The South Pasadena City Council on Wednesday, Sept. 19 will discuss and consider a financial strategy to cut $3.4 million from the municipal budget if a challenge to the City’s Utility Users Tax (UUT) is approved by voters in November.
It will be the second time that the South Pasadena Council has discussed potential budget cuts related to the UUT. City staff presented two options in July. Council members requested that staff return with a third option (Scenario 3) in September that would restore some funding to tree trimming and library hours.
“The analysis in Scenario 3 underscores the dramatic effect that the loss of the UUT would have on the South Pasadena community,” said City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe. “There are simply no budget options that would maintain the levels of public safety, public works and community services that our residents value. For example, as we looked at restoring some tree trimming and library hours, we were forced to cut additional public safety personnel. In a small city like ours, the loss of $3.4 million a year would cause significant impacts in all city service areas.”
The proposed cuts include layoffs in the police, fire, library and community service departments, along with substantial reductions in planned street repairs and maintenance.
The UUT is the City’s second largest source of revenue, DeWolfe said. The UUT places a 7.5 percent levy on utilities such as cable television, water, electricity and phone service.
The UUT is being challenged by a Pasadena-based group that has gathered the required signatures to place a repeal on the November ballot.
The City is obligated to prepare for the loss of UUT revenue through a draft implementation plan, DeWolfe said. The plan was informed by the results of a recent community survey that asked South Pasadena residents, among other topics, which services they would cut if the UUT were to be repealed.
The South Pasadena City Council meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 19 in the Council Chambers, 1424 Mission St., South Pasadena. Please visit the City’s website to view the full agenda and staff reports.