Saturday, May 25, 2024

Council Accepts Grant Funds, Budget Forecast and Establishes Subcommittee on Cross Border Water Pollution

The City Council meeting on April 4 had just a few items on the agenda, including a rate adjustment for the Regional Transportation Congestion Improvement Program, appointing two new Mobility Commission members, accepting a grant for police officer wellness and mental health, approving a multi-year budget forecast for the general fund, and establishing an ad hoc subcommittee on cross border water pollution.

Assistant Director of Public Services and Engineering Jim Newton gave a brief presentation on the annual rate adjustment for the Regional Transportation Congestion Improvement (RTCI) program fee to mitigate the impacts of development of residential units on the San Diego regional transportation arterial system for fiscal year 2023-24. This program was implemented in 2008, with funds used for easing congestion on State Routes 75 and 282. SANDAG is recommending a two percent increase, even though inflation has exceeded that, citing that past increases may have been more than inflation rates. Newton showed that the fees will go from $2,688.21 to $2,741.97, an increase of $54.00.

In the City Manager’s Report, Tina Friend welcomed new Fire Chief Jayson Summers, whose official duties began on April 1. She noted that he sent her a text at 7 am that morning. In Oral Communications, Cole Reed was introduced as the new liaison for Senator Toni Atkins.

The council appointed two new members to the Mobility Commission. Andrew Gade will serve a term expiring on December 31, 2023, and Deniz Ozakcay will serve a term until December 31, 2024.

On the consent calendar, the council accepted a grant of $30,891.64 for police officer wellness and mental health from the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC).

The city council approved the which consent calendar, which contained the 2023-24 budget calendar, and multi-year financial forecast through fiscal year 2027-28 for the General Fund, put on their by Councilmember Donovan. Highlights include revenue projections from $69.7 million to $78.1 million in fiscal year 2027-28, with a 2.4 percent increase in property tax, a 3.6 percent increase in sales tax, and a 2.9 percent increase in Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT). Expenditure projections include going from current year of $68.9 million to $77.4 million in fiscal year 2027-28, also an average increase of 2.4 percent.  Increases include added costs in personnel, services, supplies, and property.

The staff report highlights that completing this forecast aims to identify trends, evaluate financial risk, assess the likelihood that services can be sustained at current levels, determine the level at which capital expenditures/investment can be made, and identify future commitments and resource demands. The proposed budget will be presented to city council in May, with the adoption of the 2023-24 budget in June.

City Manager Tina Friend asked to establish an ad hoc city council subcommittee on cross border water pollution. She praised the council for their assertiveness in advocating for change that has led to more than $300 million designated for the project. She outlined that the term would be for one year, with the two council members providing updates while working with staff, key organizations, other cities, and going to Washington DC, as the mayor and Councilmember Benzian did previously.

Mayor Bailey said he has a good relationship with county, state, and federal officials for continuity. Councilmember Downey also said she would be willing to serve. Councilmember Donovan nominated Councilmember Duncan.

Three motions were then proposed. The first was to determine if this subcommittee should be established, and it was approved 3-2, with Councilmembers Tanaka and Downey voting no. The second motion was to appoint Mayor Bailey to the subcommittee, which was unanimously approved. The third motion was to appoint Councilmember Duncan as the second member and it was approved 3-2, with Councilmember Tanaka abstaining, and Councilmember Downey voting no.

The next city council meeting will be held on April 18, 2023.


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Jennifer Velez
Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]

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