The City Council of Los Alamitos recently held a special budget meeting (see video below).
The first meeting was held as the first in a series of planning sessions for the City’s 2019-2020 budget, looking at revenue and expenses.
In the video, City Manager Bret Plumlee immediately calls attention to an initial budget gap of “just over $480,000.”
The discussion is then carried forward by City Finance Director Maria-Luisa Valdez, who states that the gap is “mostly due to salary and benefit increases.”
She goes on to state that City revenue is projected to increase by more than $688,000 — not enough to cover the increase in expenses of $1.120 million. The largest increases are forecast for the Police Department($368,000) and the Department of Development Services ($244,000). More than $240,000 of the increase is in benefits across all departments.
Ms. Valdez summarized the forecasted $1.1 million increase in revenues:
Salaries and benefits — $741k increase
$295 thousand increase in pension costs
- $220,000 increase in public employee retirement system unfunded actuarial liability (PERS UAL)
- $295 thousand increase in pension costs
- full staffing in 2019-20
- includes a new full-time neighborhood preservation officer position (is now part-time) and part-time fiscal sustainability manager
- MOU increases*
- Budget workshops on April 8 and 15 will provide an overview of each department’s budget and how those dollars are used to serve the community.
* I believe this refers to new employment agreements with, for instance, the police union.
Ten Year Financial Forecast
This is a screen grab from the video of the special budget session on March 18, 2019.
The video used as a basis for this article is available online.
Los Alamitos City Council special budget session March 18, 2019