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Santa Clarita City Council To Look At Budget, New Mayor At Meeting

Santa Clarita city officials Tuesday are set to discuss midyear budget adjustments, fire fees, the mayoral term for the next year and a raise for Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin at City Hall.


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Santa Clarita City Council members post the agenda for the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on the city’s website.

This meeting will be the last one of the calendar year, with meetings expected to resume Jan. 14, 2014, at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers, 1st floor of City Hall, 23920 Valencia Blvd.

Santa Clarita Midyear Budget Adjustments

After re-evaluating expected expenditures and revenues from the past six months, Santa Clarita officials from the City Manager’s Office have reconfigured estimates for the city’s budget.

The agenda item also looks at formalizing Santa Clarita fiscal policy, which was recommended by Standard and Poor’s after the financial agency upgraded the city’s rating.

Adoption of the mid-year adjustments will increase the estimated revenues for all funds in the amount of $29,991,700, and budgeted expenditures in the amount of $12,490,847, according to city staff reports.

The complete report of the revenues and expenditures from the Santa Clarita budget is available here.

Among the expenditures of note, the city is recommending the authorization of $120,000 for continuation of the CEMEX mining opposition efforts, from the general fund.

There is also a $591,028 transfer requested from the Valencia Industrial Center Assessment District for reimbursements of traffic signal installation and revenue corrections. This also includes $56,000 in Tourism Marketing Bureau funds for the 2014 Amgen Tour of California and a tourism bus wrap.

On Sept. 6, 2012, the City of Santa Clarita’s Issuer Credit Rating was upgraded one notch from AA+ to AAA by Standard and Poor’s (S&P), its highest possible rating. In its report, S&P deemed the City’s financial management practices as “good” under its financial management assessment methodology, indicating financial management practices exist in most areas, but not formalized by the governing body.

Also noted in the midyear budget report is the prenegotiated raise for Striplin.

Since all provisions of an Employment Agreement were met, the City Manager’s annual salary will be increased by 5 percent effective the first full pay period in January 2014.

Santa Clarita expected to announce new mayor

Before the meeting starts, Mayor Bob Kellar is expected to pass the gavel to Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste, who would then be mayor for the calendar year 2014.

Weste, has served continuously on Santa Clarita City Council since 1998, when she was first elected, after having served as commissioner on the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Weste is up for re-election in April, which, if elected, would be her fifth term.

The mayoral position is largely a nominative one in Santa Clarita, however there are several de facto roles associated with the title, such as membership on the Santa Clarita Valley Sanitation District’s governing board.

Weste already serves on the Sanitation District board, in addition to the Economic Development and Budget committees.

How Santa Clarita chooses its mayor has been the source of some ire at past meetings.

Like many other cities in Los Angeles County, Santa Clarita has a five-person council that picks among itself to fill the position of “mayor” for 12 months starting in December.

The mayor has no more and no less voting authority than the other four council members; the mayor merely chairs the council meetings and attends ribbon cuttings. In a somewhat esoteric sense, the mayor tends to set the “tone” for the city during his or her “year.”

Last year, City Councilman TimBen Boydston moved to have the mayoral selection from December to April in order to “take the politics out of the equation.”

He’d asked the city clerk to compile election information from 2002 to this current year. The chart revealed that in 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010 and least two of the three city council candidates running for re-election held the position of mayor or mayor pro tem.

The move came after Laurie Ender became the first City Council member unseated as a sitting mayor.

Boydston, who took her seat on the council, recommended changing the date for choosing the mayor and mayor pro tem from December to April each year to coincide with the certification of the election results, which occurs every two years in even years.

Los Angeles County Fire Fee

City Council conduct a public hearing and adopt a resolution to adjust Consolidated Fire Protection District developer fees from $0.9927 to $1.0293 per square foot in accordance with the Developer Fee Agreement between the city of Santa Clarita and the Consolidated Fire Protection District of Los Angeles County.

The fee would affect developers of new properties that have not yet been permitted.

A fiscal report on Consolidated Fire Protection District Fee is expected to be presented by Assistant Fire Chief Gerald Cosey of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

The last increase to the Consolidated Fire Protection District developer fee occurred on March 1, 2010. The fee implemented on that date was $0.9927 per square foot for new residential buildings.

The following fees were collected during the noted fiscal years:

2009-10 - $174,570 (includes the entire fiscal year as the rate changed from $0.9550 to $0.9927 on March 1, 2010)

2010-11 - $111,670

2011-12 - $354,926

2012-13 - $473,267

The Consolidated Fire Protection District developer fee is charged on new residential buildings, new detached residential accessory structures, new commercial buildings, and new commercial additions over 2,000 square feet at the time the building permit is issued.

This Developer Fee Detailed Fire Station Plan reflects the Consolidated Fire Protection District's (District) fire service requirements as of October 2013, based upon growth projections and contacts with cities and developers who have shared their development plans with the district.

Leon Worden contributed to this report.


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Santa Clarita City Council To Look At Budget, New Mayor At Meeting


Article: Santa Clarita City Council To Look At Budget, New Mayor At Meeting
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Perry Smith