INGLEWOOD – This week’s council agenda includes reviewing the 1st quarter revenues, purchasing new police vehicles and payments of lease revenue bonds. Sadly, the 1st quarter budget presentation makes no mention of how much is in the city’s reserve account.
The city will authorize spending $1 million dollars with Enterprise Fleet Management Inc. on 15 new police vehicles. Unfortunately, the city isn’t adding new police officers at the same rate. It is unclear if any of the new vehicles will be distributed to the staff of the Office of Emergency Services team.
After the creation of the Inglewood Joint Powers Authority, between the city and housing authority, the first order of business is to approve the bylaws then jump head first into adopting a resolution that states:
“…adopt a resolution authorizing the issuance of lease revenue bonds (the “2019 bonds”) to refund the outstanding Inglewood Public Finance Authority Lease Revenue Bonds, Series 2012, in a principal amount not to exceed $33,000,000, approving the form and authorizing execution of related documents…”
The refunding of the bonds is expected to save the city between $2 -$3 million per year. This item is missing the usual legal and financial review and is signed by Assistant Finance Director Sharon Koike as opposed to CFO David Esparza.
The property attached to the bonds is the newly built Senior Center which was built with redevelopment funds. Last weeks agenda set the parking rates at the Senior Center at $5/hour and $20/day.
Side note: Are Inglewood residents aware the city renamed a room in the Senior Center after Maxine Waters and Eloy Morales’ father?
The city will spend $1 million dollars to upgrade traffic signals at 11 identified city intersections in preparation of the NFL stadium opening. Unfortunately, residents do not see the construction of any new parking structures, near the stadium, to accommodate seating for upwards of 80,000 people.
Finally, the Finance Department will present 1st quarter budget numbers. The 2018-19 adopted budget identified $128,016,272 in expenditures with $128,072, 451 with projected surplus of $56,179.
1st quarter numbers show a 6.6% decrease in utility tax revenue, where property tax revenue is up 5% over last year’s 1st quarter numbers. Sales tax is up 37.5% which the city attributes to an increase in online sales. Other revenues, planning and permit fees, are up 262%, which the city attributes to development.
Police and Fire expenditures are on track to be within budget. Spending is up in the Recreation and Library Services department, which could be attributed to the hiring of certain retirees after the PERS debacle. Many were working in non-annuitant positions which caught the eye of PERS. In return, according to department insiders, the city moved them to the Senior Center.
Bond payments are miraculously on track as well.
FY 2017-18 the city reported a shortfall of $17 million and the refinance of Pension Obligation Bonds (POB) totaling $35.1 million which allegedly brought the reserve account to $61 million. The item on Tuesday’s agenda makes no mention of the amount in the reserves and the POB is a mere footnote.
With revenue being up, across all funding sources, it baffles residents, and this author, as to how our projected surplus is less than $60k and more importantly, how the city addressed last year’s $17 million shortfall.
Read the 1st quarter budget by clicking here.