The main focus of Tuesday night’s City Council meeting will be the passing of the annual budget. There is one last public hearing scheduled from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., before the City Council votes on a series of items leading to the eventual passing of the budget.
The City Council must vote on the budget before September 15th (meaning this week), followed by at least one more public hearing after being passed. Then it will go to the Mayor to cut any part of the budget he chooses within five calendar days of the budget passing. The City Council then has until September 30th to override any of the Mayor’s line-item vetoes with a vote of six members.
Prior to the budget hearing and the deliberation and votes on the City Manager’s proposed budget hearings are several items meant to limit spending expenditures by the City Manager.
The first is a proposal by Council members Gabelich, Shipske, Andrews, and Uranga to lower the monetary amount the City Manager is free to enter into contracts with from $100,000 to $50,000. During last year’s local election season, there was a significant uproar among certain parts of the city over contracts entered into with consultants to study the feasibility of tax increases. The futile tax-increase advice and the subsequent money paid to consultants was the result of the City Manager’s ability to spend up to $100,000 for such contracts.
The second item is a proposal from Council members Schipske and Gabelich to require City Management to disclose any raises that exceed the standard cost of living rate. This is in response to certain raises over the standard cost of living given out to managers as former City Manager Jerry Miller was leaving.
Another item of business will be to continue hearings, and eventually vote, on whether to grant the Gaslamp Restaurant on the corner of Loynes and PCH an entertainment with dancing license. It has been the subject of controversy because its previous tenant, Live Bait, was a breeding ground for young drunk college kids stumbling out and causing problems for the local residents. This item is expected to pass.