Mid-Year Budget Highlighted at Council Meeting

Thursday, May 14, 2015 Written by 
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May is National Lupus Awareness Month.  The City of Inglewood presented a proclamation to bring awareness of this disease that disproportionately affects women and people of color.  About 1.5 million Americans develop Lupus, and millions more worldwide.  Although the cause of Lupus is unknown, genetics and hormones are thought to play a role.  The disease is hard to diagnose. 


Another proclamation was given on behalf of Cal Fresh Awareness Month.  “The highest priority is to reduce food insecurity.  (The public) is encouraged to share information and benefits of the program to those who need it most,” said Mayor James Butts.  Cal Fresh is formerly referred to as food stamps.


Assistant City Manager/CFO David Esparza presented the City of Inglewood’s Fiscal Year 2014-15 Mid-Year Budget Review.  The financial picture in Inglewood continues to look bright.  Property, sales and hotel tax are up.  Building permits, fees, utility user tax, unemployment and city expenditures are down. Revenue of about $79.8 million, minus expenditures of $89.1 million created a shortfall of about $9.35 million.


“We have continued to hold positions vacant throughout the city,” Esparza said. “We are currently carrying 5 vacant positions, which would be projected at a savings of $637,800.”


Of the revenues collected from October 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015, Esparza said, “We are on track for where we want to be at this point in time for this year.”  


The City has done well in holding down expenses so far, to about 44 percent—6 percent below what was budgeted at the beginning of the year.   Police and Fire Services are down 5.6 percent. Economic and Community Development is down 15.2 percent; Parks, Recreation and Library Services are down 12.4 percent; and Public Works is down 12.8 percent. Esparza noted, however, that these figures are expected to rise “as we get into the summer months.”


“We have to continue to hold the line so our financial stability is one that is positive and will be good for our community in the long run,” he added.


Councilman Ralph Franklin praised City Manager Artie Fields for his work on the budget:  “What we are seeing today is a reflection of your staff’s continuity.  Thank you for being steadfast so that we are staying on target.  We are well on track, far from where we’ve been before.”


City Treasurer Wanda Brown announced that her latest financial report will be available on the City’s website (www.cityofinglewood.org) on May 15.


Councilman George Dotson took a tour of the Hollywood Park construction site recently.  “They are doing a very good job.  It won’t be too long before they’ll be digging a hole for the stadium.”  Dotson will host his District 1Town Hall Meeting at the ICOP Center, 2901 Manchester Blvd., Saturday, May 16, from10am to 12pm.  Representatives for Inglewood’s Public Works and Police Departments and Hollywood Park will be providing the community with updates


Art work of Inglewood high school students will be displayed in the Inglewood Main Library on Thursday, May 14 from 4 to 6pm. 


Diane Sombrano requested that the meeting be closed in honor of Charlotte Spaulding Price, whose family came to Inglewood in 1894.  The family owned the first pharmacy and the first theatre. The meeting was also closed in honor of Inglewood community activist Johnny Ingraham.  Some in the audience were shocked to hear the news.


Councilman Alex Padilla celebrated his birthday on May 12.



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