May 25, 2023 3:26 PM
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – This week, the Santa Monica City Council held a study session to review the FY 2023-25 Proposed Biennial Budget, including the FY 2023-24 Proposed Exception-Based Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budget. The Council’s feedback aligned with the five priorities it identified during its March 11, 2023, Council workshop: Addressing Homelessness; Clean and Safe Santa Monica; Cultivate Economic Recovery and Expand Community and Cultural Offerings; Racial Justice, Equity, and Social Diversity; and Sustainable and Connected Community. This direction from Council will be incorporated into the Final FY 2023-25 Biennial Budget, which will return to Council for adoption at its June 27, 2023, meeting. Council comments expressed support for the proposed enhancements, including:
- Organizational realignment and expanded efforts to address homelessness.
- Enhanced patrol and security services at the Pier, Beach, Downtown, and on buses.
- Expanded teams for maintaining clean public spaces.
- Further restoration of youth programs.
- Further restoration of library hours.
- A new small businesses assistance program.
- Establishing a Citywide ADA Coordinator.
- Continuing work on action plans to support zero waste, sustainable water, and electrification of the City’s fleet.
The Budget provides a plan, built upon priorities, to continue to rebuild and restore services notwithstanding economic uncertainty and disruption coming from geopolitical unrest, consumer behavior changes, inflation, labor shortages, and the trailing impacts of the pandemic.
Despite these challenges, the City has weathered financial blows over the past three years from the pandemic and has closure on the resolution of significant legal liabilities. The Proposed Budget reflects ongoing enhancements as the City continues its recovery. New revenue sources are identified from voter approved measures, public and private partnerships, rate adjustments, reallocated funding, and successful grant applications.
The total proposed budget for the City is $740.9 million in FY 2023-24 and $746.4 million in FY 2024-25. The proposed budget is prepared alongside five-year forecasts for all funds to ensure the long-term fiscal viability of proposed programs and services. At the Budget Study Session, Council also provided direction to:
- Establish monthly meetings for the Landmarks Commission, waive application fees for non-profits and Landmarks Commissioners for Landmark Designations and Certificates of Appropriateness, review legal considerations for placing pending Demolition Permit applications on the Landmarks Commission agendas and explore the possibility of limiting consultant review of Landmark Designation applications.
- Restore the City Traffic Engineer, which will enhance the City’s ability to deliver mobility projects including Safe Routes to School capital improvements, Vision Zero projects to eliminate fatal and severe injury crashes, and develop a multi-year traffic signal preventative maintenance program.
- Provide funds to invest in technology to enhance community safety.
- Support funding to enable CREST to fully operate at elementary schools and enroll additional participants in CREST CLUB and Enrichment opportunities.
The proposed budget is available at finance.smgov.net/budgets-reports/annual.
Public Information Officer