By Eric Heinz

City officials conferred Monday, May 22, to discuss the 2017-18 fiscal year city budget.

Standing in front of the televised projectors, Assistant City Manager Erik Sund posted a theme for this and following years’ budget approach: “As we approach future years, it is essential the City do more with less.”

It’s not that the city isn’t making money; it’s that the planned spending is outpacing that revenue, or at least that’s the forecast.

Additionally, city officials said they may not have as much capital to initiate as many infrastructure projects as planned. Certain grants, funding sources and other revenue from years past may not be as available in the foreseeable future.

The city is planning to allocate $2.5 million for facilities maintenance reserve, which will include money for street repair, the animal shelter and other local projects that need immediate attention.

San Clemente assistant city manager Erik Sund opened the discussion on the 2017-18 city budget on Monday, May 22, at San Clemente City Hall. Sund said the city will have to tighten its expenses in the next few years on certain projects. Photo: Eric Heinz
San Clemente assistant city manager Erik Sund opened the discussion on the 2017-18 city budget on Monday, May 22, at San Clemente City Hall. Sund said the city will have to tighten its expenses in the next few years on certain projects. Photo: Eric Heinz

However, the city’s sales and property tax revenues have been hitting 5- to 10-year highs. Out of the shadow of the 2008 recession, the city has been able to generate much more from property taxes due to more homes being built in Marblehead and increased assessed values.

Currently, the city is projecting about $4.7 million negative gap between general fund revenues and expenditures. Revenues are expected to be $63.3 million and expenditures are predicted to be $68 million, but adjustments will likely be made before it is adopted. There are other ways to balance out areas of the budget with specific reserves, but the fiscally conservative nature of San Clemente will likely find other ways to close that gap.

Pension costs for public safety have been a topic of discussion since last fall when it was announced the city will be paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in increases next year with incremental increases in following years to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) and Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA). OCFA’s contract will rise 4.5 percent, and OCSD’s contract cost will rise 2.9 for fiscal year 2017-18.

Other discussions during the meeting included budgeting for Beaches, Parks and Recreation Department, which can change with Council discretion fairly quickly, as was seen with the Ole Hanson Beach Club the last few years before its completion and reopening.

The Beaches, Parks and Recreation Master Plan is being constructed at this time, and should give the city a better spending road map in those areas. The budget is scheduled to be considered for adoption at the June 6 City Council meeting.

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comments (5)

  • So, if the city is strapped for cash, why are they considering spending over 6 figures to move the city hall? What is the need to move it?

    The city is (and has been for many years) being refunded a large amount of money from the OCSD contract various reasons. Get ready for the city to cut officers just when new liberal laws make more criminals without the threat of punishment. We already seeing the problems here!

    Why has there been such cost overruns on the Ole Hansen pool when there is a world class pool at Vista Hermosa? Do we really need the Ole Hansen pool? DO WE REALLY NEED IT?

    Why does the city continue to produce more parks (Johnson Par by the Outlets) when there are so many already built. Parks cost a huge amount to operate with very little income.

    Why can’t the city charge for beach parking when the beach is open. Only a few hours of parking income is being realized when the beach hours are longer.

    Why can’t the city install meters along Del Mar to collect a small amount for street upkeep and keep people for parking the entire day. I no longer shop along Del Mar, I can’t find a freak’in parking spot!

    Why you say??? Bad city management!! Every since this new new city management crew entered the city, there has been problems. Get rid of them!

  • Folks, while the comment above from W Bill (whoever that really might be) is filled with #fakenews rants that sound like a disgruntled employee popping off with opinions about all kinds of misleading nonsense there is one thing that is accurate.

    The city does have to tighten its belts. It is the fiscally responsible thing to do. It is being forced upon the city because of all these unfunded mandates by our failed state government.

    The state government wants bullet trains we don’t need or have money for. The state government is actively pursuing taxing us any way they can to compensate for their failed leadership.

    • Interesting that all you can do is a hashtag “fake news” reply and not address a single issue I’ve raised. You’re not usually that lazy Mr Romero. Not all of the city financial problems result from the State. They result from bad local decisions. I won’t even mention the huge increase in legal expenses being paid by the city for ill advised decisions. There is failed State leadership no doubt, but their is also failed leadership under our noses.

      • Okay folks, more #fakenews by someone credibility hiding behind an alias of W Bill.

        Continues with unfounded allegations based on his biased ideology with no supporting facts or sources. That’s about as much of a response as needed for this kind of hyperbole.

  • how bout no more subsidization to the dba for leased parking pushing commerce to out lying areas,, and apply those moneys to heath and safety like sidewalks a tide that raises all vessels and property and business values ? , this also forces the owners of these lots and sweetheart deals to develop thus increasing the tax base ? and commerce !!!
    you might charge for the multi million dollar parking lot that is used by the privileged farmers market only,,,
    or charge for parking waivers like the 64 spaces you owh the citizens at north beach ,,, or stretch police services by stopping petty laws like ticketing work men because they have a ladder on their truck or sighting parties because of more than eight people in attendance or stopping the no call to small policies ,,,

    and yes fire moon beam ,, i find it odd that he payees his state employees less than the state mandated prevailing wages that the city or county or school has to pay for any development thus increasing our taxes instead of lessening our liabilities ,,, he is a true enemy of our ficial state

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