City Manager says Arcadia is at a fiscal ‘crossroads’
On Tuesday, May 15 Arcadia City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto presented the City’s FY 18-19 budget, launching a robust public discussion regarding vital City services. “As always, the City is committed to continuing its work towards maintaining public safety and the quality of services Arcadia residents expect and deserve,” according to the release.
The FY 18-19 budget maintains existing levels of public services, but apparently the City can no longer guarantee that services will remain at current levels over the long-term.
“Due to recent changes in state law and other fiscal constraints, the City’s proposed budget has a structural deficit of nearly $3.1 million with expenditures in excess of revenues. According to the City’s long-term financial forecast, the structural deficit will remain for the foreseeable future,” the city stated.
“Historical state takeaways, unfunded mandates, and cost increases have put the City at a crossroads,” said City Manager Lazzaretto. “While Arcadia has the financial resources to maintain existing service levels in the short-term, in order to avoid catastrophe, we will either need to modify service levels or identify additional locally-controlled funding resources.”
In a recently-commissioned Community Priorities Survey, Arcadia residents stated strongly that they want existing levels of police and fire public safety services maintained. Among other priorities, residents cited preventing and investigating property crimes, like thefts and burglaries, maintaining local paramedic services, and protecting 911 emergency response times as primary areas of concern.
The City of Arcadia will continue to work hard to preserve the vital City services that residents expect and deserve. This budget holds the line on key services through the prudent use of City reserves, but the City will need to do more to protect service levels in the coming years, which is why the City will continue to engage residents on community service priorities. The City wants to continue hearing the priorities that are important to Arcadia residents and take action to ensure that they work with the community to protect the city’s excellent services and high quality of life.
If you are interested in taking a leadership role on this important topic, the City of Arcadia is accepting applications for the newly formed Citizen Financial Advisory Committee. This ad hoc committee will be responsible for reviewing the City’s long-term financial forecast and providing recommendations to the City Council for potential revenue enhancement and/or cost containment strategies. The commitment is expected to be for a period of no more than six months, but will require intense review and discussion about the City’s financial future.
Due to the specialized nature of this Committee, prospective candidates with a background in finance are preferred. To serve on the Committee, candidates must be at least 18 years of age, a registered voter, and a resident of the City of Arcadia.
Qualified candidates with an interest in serving may pick up an application from the City Clerk’s Office, located at 240 W. Huntington Drive, or print one off of the City’s website at ArcadiaCA.gov/CitizenService. Applications must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office on or before the close of business on Thursday, May 24, 2018. Appointments are expected to be made in June.