The Santa Monica City Council authorized city manager Lamont Ewell to make budget expenditure adjustments of $64.2 million for fiscal year 2007-08 at a council meeting late last month. That fiscal year ended June 30th.
The Redevelopment Agency and the Parking Authority — which each consist of the seven members of the council — also approved year-end budget appropriations to certain city departments, which is standard procedure.
The additional net appropriation of $64.2 million brings the final revised operating budget for fiscal year 2007-08 to $482.8 million, up from $418.6 million.
Of the $64.2 million, $61.1 million is being appropriated for one-time events, including $56.7 million for the Charnock Wells legal settlement, and a one-time transfer of $4.4 million to the Self Insurance Fund, said Chuck McBride, assistant director of fi- nance.
“There’s also a $1 million increase in revenues that account for additional funds for the Big Blue Bus state transit assistance fund received from MTA [Metropolitan Transportation Authority],” noted Carol Swindell, the city’s director of Finance.
The 2007-08 fiscal year is currently being audited by an independent CPA firm called Mayer Hoffman McCann, Swindell said.
The final comprehensive annual financial report is scheduled to be issued in December.
2008-09 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET — The City Council and the Redevelopment Agency also adopted several budget changes for fiscal year 2008-09, which began July 1st.
Since the council adopted the 2008-09 city budget in June, revenues have increased by $8.8 million and expenditures are up by $13.3 million.
This means the city needs an additional net appropriation of $4.5 million for fiscal year 2008-09, with $3.1 million going to the General Fund, Swindell said.
Approximately $1.7 million of that will go toward additional capital expenditures for the Annenberg Beach House, currently under construction, Swindell said.
The council also adopted personnel changes and revised the salaries for various positions, including for the city’s benefits and compensation manager, circulation supervisor, human services manager, special project administrator, custodial services superintendent and various internships.
The salary changes are based on salary surveys of similar positions in comparable factors, McBride said.
Additionally, the council approved various permit and user fees and created new fees in the Planning and Community Development Department.
The city recently completed a study of existing and proposed fees charged for providing development review, inspection, and general services in planning and community development for the purpose of updating fee amounts to reflect current costs of services and processing.
This fee study assessed a new structure that is designed to provide increased service to the community and includes an additional four employees in the Building and Safety Division and one environmental planner in the Planning and Development Department, Swindell said.
City staff said they are aware of the “uncertainties presented by the current economic environment, however, and will be vigilant to ensure that the proposed positions are phased in only when the revenue impacts of the new fee schedule are recognized and validated.”
Swindell said, “The fees are expected to produce an ongoing additional $1.1 million in revenue, but that’s beginning next year.”
About a dozen people came to the City Council meeting to express their support for the new fee schedule, many expressing their excitement and calling it a “win-win for everyone.”
“I heard about this budget request and I wanted to come here and voice my support,” said Jonathan Chu, owner of the Buddha’s Belly restaurant in Santa Monica, who will soon open another restaurant. “I see positive changes happening and more efficiencies. That’s going to take people and tools. This just makes great sense.”