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City of La Palma
7822 Walker Street
La Palma, CA 90623
Ph: (714) 690-3300
Fx: (714) 523-2141
-Doesn’t the City have significant reserves it can use instead of cutting services?
While it is true that the City has built healthy reserves over time, especially in the last few years, these reserves cannot be used to fund ongoing operating services in the long-term. The City Council recently approved an update to the City’s reserves policies. These policies spell out very specific reasons for how and when to use reserves. The use of reserves, guided by the policies, is ultimately decided by the City Council. However, good financial practice means ongoing expenditures must match ongoing revenues so that long-term fiscal sustainability can be attained. There are one-time uses of reserves which could help lower operating expenses over the long-term. Initial FY 2013-14 budget proposals would use some reserve funds for one-time expenses that result in longer term savings year after year. Examples are technology projects that produce new efficiencies or energy projects that reduce what the City pays for electricity. The City Council has approved studying several such projects in FY 2013-14 which may result in reducing costs and making services more sustainable for the long term.

FY2013-14 Budget Planning

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1. -Why has the City’s financial situation changed so much?
2. -Weren’t we ok financially before BP/Arco located to La Palma? Why can’t we just cut back to the level of employees and services we provided back then?
3. -Isn’t this a short term problem and once we start getting sales tax from Tesoro and other new businesses we will be financially healthy again?
4. -Doesn’t the City have significant reserves it can use instead of cutting services?
5. -Why don’t employees just accept less in their compensation so that these service reductions are not needed?
6. -I heard that the utility users’ tax was for services which are now being cut, but the tax is being retained. Why is this happening?
7. -Why is closing the funding gap all being done by reducing services to residents, can’t the City close the gap in other ways?
8. -I have heard the City is laying off dispatchers and police officers and contracting police with another agency. Shouldn’t public safety be our highest priority?
9. -How does contracting out services like police dispatch save money?
10. -What is the service impact of contracting out a service or function?
11. -If there is a financial issue, why are we spending money on capital projects instead of on staffing or services?
12. -Aren’t there ways to increase revenues that would save services?
13. -How can I be a part of the conversation on budgets and services?