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Groups of residents have been requesting that the city add more police officers to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in San Clemente. As the city continues to mull the prospect of adding more officers, two full-time officers are expected to be added along with a crime specialist and a part-time officer. This would bring the city’s total OCSD officers to 43.5, which is 1.5 more than 10 years ago. The city canceled the funding of motorcycle officer, a part-time investigator and staff assistant, which weren’t being utilized.
San Clemente has .67 officers per 1,000 residents, which is less than the regional average of 1.1, according to 2013-2014 U.S. Census and FBI data.
During the hearing, Councilwoman Lori Donchak requested a five-year master plan to examine the needs of police enforcement in San Clemente.
Also during the hearing, Assistant City Manager Erik Sund spoke about the city needing to ensure it consolidates its spending and continue to provide a balanced budget. As mentioned at the May 17 City Council meeting, the city would operate with expenditures exceeding its revenues if certain trends continue in the general fund, but he also said the city always finds a way to pass a balanced budget.
A major component of cutting expenditures is to maintain a AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s, Sund said, in order to maintain reserve funds.
Also during the hearing, Council voted to fund a $600,000 intersection project at Camino Vera Cruz and Costa, the Forester Ranch entrance.
Other issues discussed included the upcoming water rate structure study, which will begin sometime this year, as well as more capital improvement projects within the area.
The city has an operating general fund of about $57 million in expenditures.
The city will adopt its 2017 budget at a meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on June 13 at City Hall, 100 Avenida Presidio. To view the current proposed budget, visit www.san-clemente.org and click on the proposed budget under “Latest News.”