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City Council Could Adopt $1.1 Billion Budget on Monday

Published on Monday, June 10, 2024 | 4:00 am

The City Council is scheduled to close the public hearings on the City’s budget and vote on the fiscal year 2025 $1.1 billion budget.

“The recommended fiscal year 2025 Operating Budget continues to advance City Council priorities by investing in a wide range of proposed enhancements that include enterprise risk management to help mitigate the City’s risk exposure, supplemental funding for Pasadena Outreach Response Teams (PORT), General Fund support for the Public Health Department’s overhead costs in order to maximize grant funds for programming, additional tree planting and care to enhance the City’s urban forest, and much more,” according to a City staff report.

In his transmittal letter to the Mayor and City Council, Márquez highlighted the City’s commitment to providing essential amenities and services that cater to the needs of residents across all age groups and lifestyles.

“The City of Pasadena takes great pride in offering a robust range of programs and initiatives, either directly or through strategic partnerships with local organizations,” he wrote.

The proposed budget allocates significant resources to key departments crucial for maintaining the City’s infrastructure and public safety.

Pasadena Water and Power, the City’s utility provider, tops the list with a departmental budget of $345,312,250. The Police Department follows closely with a proposed budget of $111,078,762, reflecting the City’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of its residents.

Additionally, the Public Works Department, responsible for maintaining the City’s infrastructure, has been allocated a recommended budget of $93,537,291. The Fire Department and Housing Department are set to receive $69,274,048 and $46,447,327, respectively.

The budget proposal includes funding for 1,080.27 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in the General Fund and 2,403.38 FTEs across all funds, as outlined in the Agenda Report.

Over the last month as departmental budgets were presented to City Council subcommittees.

Last Monday, the City Council heard a summary on proposed changes suggested by committees on the fiscal year 2025 $1.1 billion budget.

According to Finance Director Matthew Hawkesworth, the budget has been amended slightly since it was presented in May due to grant monies received by the City and the state’s budget.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed a long list of cuts in the state budget, and some of them could impact Pasadena, including a loss of $1 million in core funding at the City’s Health Department, a $60,000 reduction in a Medi-Cal enrollment program operated by the City.

Additionally, $30,000 the City uses to fund a summer lunch program would also be cut.

The budget cuts could also impact housing vouchers that are given out to homeless people during inclement weather.

An additional $25,000 will be used to open the Robinson Recreation Center and Villa Parke on Sundays during the summer. According to the Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department, the pools can be opened for 14 Sundays without adding extra positions.

But they cannot open the Robinson Recreation Center and the Villa Parke Community Centers on Sundays year round.

It is also recommended that an additional $370,000 be appropriated to the General Fund, for a total of $250,000, to be used for the Public Health Department.

There were also questions about the potential cost of running an effective five-year plan to address or solve homelessness.

Hawkesworth said the plan, which would increase the 240 sworn positions in the Police Department, would require a lot of homework by City staff.

The City Charter requires the City Manager to submit an annual operating budget to the City Council by the third Monday in May.

As part of the process, the City Council opens a public hearing on the proposed operating budget and continues it until a formal recommendation to adopt the fiscal year 2025 Recommended Operating Budget is presented to the City Council.

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