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SCSQUARED halfBy Eric Heinz 

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 and click on the proposed budget under “Latest News.”

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comments (5)

  • 600 k to redo a functioning intersection instead of installing missing sidewalks ??????????????

  • Here’s some info I found after a quick Google search.

    According to the Measure M-2 Grant Agenda Report it states this is for:
    -9 signalized intersections
    -Replace existing outdated controllers with new controllers
    -Upgraded detection and operation
    -Fiber optic interconnect
    -New interconnect conduit

    This is about upgrading some old traffic signals. The specific intersection specified in this limited article is adjacent to a school and does not have a traffic signal today. This should make things safer for children and general pedestrian traffic to the school and park.

    It is kind of cool that the costs for necessary improvements within our city are covered by the freeway expansion fund.


    • Your Google search lead you astray Enrique, as what you noted is not the same as what George mentioned. Check out the May 24 Council budget workshop on YouTube, the $600k is for a traffic signal or “roundabout” at an intersection by Truman Benedict School. I agree with George that sidewalks are important, but I’m familiar with that intersection which gets crazy at school time. If it improves safety for all the kids/pedestrians then I’m all for it.

      • Thanks for keeping it real.

        There was recently a traffic accident there where a local senior we all love got t-boned by a distracted driver. It led to a power outage for that part of town from the morning until 2pm. So any improvements to make that location safer will be appreciated.

  • doesn’t this traffic circle , if i recall delete the bike lanes and push the bikes into traffic with only sharrows painted on the street for separation for children and adults

comments (5)

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