Council Hears Budget Presentations in Special Meeting

first_img STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Top of the News Public hearings on the budget kicked into high gear as several departments made presentations to the City Council in a joint meeting on Monday.“As we get into the department budgets, I have asked the director to focus on key accomplishments and major workplace efforts for the coming year,” said City Manager Steve Mermell. “Without the budget, none of the services the city provides would be possible.”The council annually hears budget presentations in special meetings before City Council meetings.Police, parks, recreation and community services, the city’s libraries, transportation, the Pasadena Center Operating Co. and the city’s Community Access Corp. were scheduled to make budget presentations on Monday.However, only the police, library and parks and recreation and community presentations were made due to time constraints.The other departments were scheduled to make presentations at the City Council meeting which began immediately after the special meeting.“We continue with our youth engagement and increasing our number of officers for patrol,” said Police Chief John Perez.Although local residents called on the city to cut police funding for more social services, council members did not broach the topic when discussing the department’s budget with Perez.On Monday, Pasadena Now reported the department is recommending city officials reallocate $225,000 from its normal operating budget to fund a second full-time PORT team to provide unarmed responses to service calls involving mental health issues or problems related to homelessness.The team would be made up of a firefighter or emergency medical technician, a social worker and a housing worker.The team would be able to respond to calls received by the Police Department that don’t involve an apparent threat of violence or danger.Under the proposed 2022 FY Operating Budget, the Police Department will receive over $84 million from the General Fund.The proposed operating budget — including city-affiliated agencies and the city’s capital improvement projects — came in at $897.8 million, exactly $20 million more than the last fiscal year’s adopted budget.The recommended Fiscal Year 2022 operating budget includes $286.7 million in appropriations from the general fund.The city’s charter, Section 902 requires that the annual operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year be submitted to the City Council on or before the third Monday in May, according to a staff report.The city’s operating budget was put together before the city’s library was shut down in May due to seismic issues.The library’s budget for 2021 will be significantly lower to unfilled positions and no live programs due to the closure.“We’ve been focusing on continuity of operations ever since,” said Library Director Michele Perera.“We have been looking for alternate locations and have toured a few in the last few weeks. The library has considered moving some of its services to a closed elementary school and a warehouse,” Perera said.The location will house 350,000 books.“We know we are not going to find another Central Library,” Perera said.About 80 percent of the library’s $15 million budget comes from the city’s General Fund. The rest comes from a library tax. 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