Montebello Budget Limits Put Breaks o...

Montebello Budget Limits Put Breaks on City Services

There are 336 comments on the egpnews.com story from Jun 30, 2011, titled Montebello Budget Limits Put Breaks on City Services. In it, egpnews.com reports that:

While Montebello officials breathed a small "sigh of relief" last week as they approved a balanced 2011-2012 fiscal year budget, more work is required to reach the goals set by the new budget.

“This is the beginning of the journey, not the end product,” said David Biggs, one of the city’s interim city administrators who led the presentation on the $45.2 million general fund budget at the June 22 city council meeting. The budget was approved 4-1, with Councilwoman Christina Cortez casting the dissenting vote.

Biggs gave a cautious prognosis of the city’s economic condition, saying that even though they see some “strength” in the revenues coming in, those revenues are “still significantly lower than at the highest point.”

Officials say they have worked to “clean up” past practices and tried to be more upfront and transparent in the disclosure of the city’s financial problems. “That’s part of the discipline that we bring now,” Kosmont said.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at egpnews.com.

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“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

#1 Jul 1, 2011
This is one of Elisabeth's most fact filled articles, which is why I only quoted generalities. You need to click on the link and read the full article to get the whole story.
Theolona Ranger

South El Monte, CA

#2 Jul 1, 2011
story says
"The general fund budget also sets aside a $1 million reserve, which will go toward any unforeseen costs."

Actually the reserve is where the cost for the TRAN loan (bridge loan) is parked.
There is no item representing the expected cost of the loan in the budget.
The bridge loan is not an "unforeseen cost".

Repaying HUD is also not an "unforeseen cost" and although negotiations are continuing there is no reserve although the funds may be secured by the property (which may take a lawsuit to resolve).

Expect the State to come looking for the city's to replace the 1% sales tax and the vehicle license fees which expired today.
Think of the budget as a work in progress and subject to revision.

It is much more transparent than previous budgets.
Theolona Ranger

South El Monte, CA

#3 Jul 1, 2011
story says
"Department heads reporting on their individual budgets at the meeting told similar stories of shrinkage in staffing levels in recent years."

Recall that 2008-2009 budget was over $$48 Million
but also recall that actual spending exceed this number.
revenue had already decreased and this "pie in the sky" budget was funded with illegal borrowing from the CRA, reserves, and restricted funds.

Do not cry about so called "cuts" from this inflated, unsustainable and unrealistic "budget" and levels of deficit spending.

It is more appropriate to look at 2004 time frame staffing levels when income was similar to this year.

Factor in increases in PERS costs, unemployment insurance costs, and health care costs means that fewer numbers of employees could be supported with today's dollars.

Comparisons with 2009-2010 are really deceptive.
A house of cards ready to fall.
and which did fall
Theolona ranger

South El Monte, CA

#4 Jul 5, 2011
story says
"Montebello’s building and planning services are expected to experience a slow down as well. Code enforcement and building planning personnel have left the city in recent weeks, leaving existing employees to pick up the slack.

The loss of a code enforcement supervisor has “reduced [the city’s] ability to respond to a lot of the property maintenance issues throughout the city,” said Community Development and Planning Department Director Michael Huntley."

Having the City look like a dump because of no code enforcement is penny-wise and pound foolish. Houses in foreclosure must be maintained.
Costs can be recovered from the bank/ owner.
There is a red-tagged house on Lincoln that has become a crime magnet.
I thought we were using some community block grant (CBG) money for code enforcement or did the HUD problem put a hold on those funds?
Theolona ranger

South El Monte, CA

#5 Jul 5, 2011
story says
"The police department was able to shave its budget down from $18.3 million last year, to $17.3 million with the elimination of all special units, except for narcotics, leaving basic patrol and detective units."

comment
recall that ALL budgets were bloated at an unsustainable level with the City illegally transferring to meet these "much greater than income" payrolls and overtime

"Chief Kevin McClure said four new hires in the budget could go toward eliminating one of his “biggest budget concerns,” which is that the department overspends its overtime budget by $500,000 a year in order to meet minimum staffing levels."

Good move Chief
But who sets these "minimum staffing levels"?
Minimum staffing levels cannot be more than what the City can afford.
The PD has had great growth from 2004-to very recently.
What was the PD budget in 2004 and 2005 when income was close to what it is now.
IS the new budget a cut from that realistic level?
Answer is in front of us

Baldwin Park, CA

#6 Jul 7, 2011
Well the Police department cut over a million, Norma Salinas from parks and rec came in 800,000 over budget. Let's see we cut police services limited fire services and cut various street department services but the swimming pools are open (free at that) samba lessons continue with plans to expand. Come on people when will see we are putting our priorities behind. Some services are needed but if they are sessional we should run them as such. Cut other services in parks and rec to allow the seasonal necessities. This will reduce expense. But doing this means Norma has to do her job and cut her staff. How could she look at them while seating across them during their family dinners.
Trash Talk

South El Monte, CA

#7 Jul 7, 2011
Police really did not "cut" anything.
They had some unfilled positions that were not costing any real money which they gave up which reduces their budget but does not reduce how much they actually spent.
Glad they could fill some positions and reduce OT. However OT is still a useful tool.
Look at both the budgets and actual expenditures since 2004 instead of looking at the budget only decline from 2010 to now.
There is no way that 2008-2009 or 2009-2010 have any validity as they were wholly dependent on funny money.

Look at all departments.
Give us some real numbers not budget numbers
Theolona ranger

South El Monte, CA

#8 Jul 7, 2011
Real numbers would show how much they overspent their overtime budgets.
Time to produce those forensic audits so we can see where all the embezzled money was spent.
Remember what Deep throat said...
Montebello community

Moreno Valley, CA

#9 Jul 10, 2011
Answer is in front of us wrote:
Well the Police department cut over a million, Norma Salinas from parks and rec came in 800,000 over budget. Let's see we cut police services limited fire services and cut various street department services but the swimming pools are open (free at that) samba lessons continue with plans to expand. Come on people when will see we are putting our priorities behind. Some services are needed but if they are sessional we should run them as such. Cut other services in parks and rec to allow the seasonal necessities. This will reduce expense. But doing this means Norma has to do her job and cut her staff. How could she look at them while seating across them during their family dinners.
Sounds like our friend from Ontario has a lot of knowledge , possible former city employee? Maybe wasn't a fan of ms. Salinas? Family member of smokies? Either way.. He/she is absolutely right...

Who wants to fire there friends?? Just saying,....

“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

#10 Jul 10, 2011
How much can Norma cut? How many public safety jobs will that save? City budget experts have told me that it takes 2 - 4 general city employee positions to save 1 public safety job. Are there that many parks & rec employees left.

Answer from Ontario may have the answers, but I would also like to have some of the base information from which those answers come. It may be in some of those department head handouts, so I will try to see if it there.

The mayor of Detroit said, when confronted by similar choices, something like: "I would rather have a city with reduced public safety and and reduced recreational services than the safest city in the world with nothing to enjoy in it."
lucky

North Hollywood, CA

#11 Jul 10, 2011
poor montebello
tell the truth

Baldwin Park, CA

#12 Jul 10, 2011
So the Detroit Mayor says he would risk enjoyment at the cost of safety. Would you send your child to school with no traffic enforcemnet and risk your child safety. Currently Montebello Police is servicing its residence with far to less police. Montebello Police is below the required standard. One major incident and there are no police officers available.
There are far too many supervisors getting top pay in parks and rec. Most related to norma. Infact all head of departments were given a $32,000.00 a year raise in the middle of this mess and now they are asking employees to cut.
Police cant service the residence as they are acustom to. There is no more taffic unit, no gang unit, no graffiti enforcement, no crime prevention. Every unit cut has impacted the local residence. So your concept is to give the residence enjoyment well they are being victimized. you cant enjoy your world without being safe. If you want to know the feeling go to Tijuana or any small mexican town and try to enjoy that world feeling the chaos around you.
42 yr North Mtb resident wrote:
How much can Norma cut? How many public safety jobs will that save? City budget experts have told me that it takes 2 - 4 general city employee positions to save 1 public safety job. Are there that many parks & rec employees left.
Answer from Ontario may have the answers, but I would also like to have some of the base information from which those answers come. It may be in some of those department head handouts, so I will try to see if it there.
The mayor of Detroit said, when confronted by similar choices, something like: "I would rather have a city with reduced public safety and and reduced recreational services than the safest city in the world with nothing to enjoy in it."
tell the truth

Baldwin Park, CA

#13 Jul 10, 2011
You have to cut from Parks and Rec. Not everyone uses the services, but everyone is affected by the day to day work police does. They arrest a robber today, that means he is off the street tomorrow not to rob you. They give a ticket at a intersection, he stopped that car from kill someone the next day.

Have baseball, swimming, samba and you keep people preoccuppied for a few hours and parks and rec feel this keeps strret safe. Some of these same people that attend those programs are the the same people who commit crimes when they finish having there enjoyment. You want to prevent crime, you have to have people enforcening the law.

Parks and rec feel that their programs prevents crime, but they only give those a time to relax at our expense. If enjoyment through parks and rec programs is more important than we better start giving more self defence classes so that the residence can take care of themseleves. Norma you should be ashamed.

“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

#14 Jul 10, 2011
tell the truth wrote:
So the Detroit Mayor says he would risk enjoyment at the cost of safety. Would you send your child to school with no traffic enforcemnet and risk your child safety. Currently Montebello Police is servicing its residence with far to less police. Montebello Police is below the required standard. One major incident and there are no police officers available.
There are far too many supervisors getting top pay in parks and rec. Most related to norma. Infact all head of departments were given a $32,000.00 a year raise in the middle of this mess and now they are asking employees to cut.
Police cant service the residence as they are acustom to. There is no more taffic unit, no gang unit, no graffiti enforcement, no crime prevention. Every unit cut has impacted the local residence. So your concept is to give the residence enjoyment well they are being victimized. you cant enjoy your world without being safe. If you want to know the feeling go to Tijuana or any small mexican town and try to enjoy that world feeling the chaos around you.
<quoted text>
The officers who are writing tickets and the ones who are receiving them would tell you that there IS traffic enforcement going on NOW. Today, I saw an MPD car watching a stop sign in a north Montebello residentisl area, waiting for someone to run it. At the same time I took a photo of him, he took off and started driving at moderate speed around the neighborhood, apparently randomly patrolling.

Do you understand the concept of a service gradient? The idea is that there are different levels and areas of service that can be spread out to different areas at different times for different durations. No one but you is talking about a complete cessation of public safety services. All anyone in Montebello is talking about is having as safe, comfortable, and enjoyable a city as can be afforded.

I still haven't heard about the number of supposed nepotistic positions that are in parks & rec. What are their yearly costs? What evidence do you have that, even if your allegations are true, these employees don't do a good job? Kosmont strikes me a no-nonsense type of executive, and if you can substantiate all the above allegations, he would probably be the first one to fire them.

You have not been heretofore shy about having others raise your concerns in front of the city council during public orals, so why not use your same conduits and have them speak publicly about this alleged nepotism?

“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

#15 Jul 10, 2011
tell the truth wrote:
So the Detroit Mayor says he would risk enjoyment at the cost of safety. Would you send your child to school with no traffic enforcemnet and risk your child safety. Currently Montebello Police is servicing its residence with far to less police. Montebello Police is below the required standard. One major incident and there are no police officers available.
There are far too many supervisors getting top pay in parks and rec. Most related to norma. Infact all head of departments were given a $32,000.00 a year raise in the middle of this mess and now they are asking employees to cut.
Police cant service the residence as they are acustom to. There is no more taffic unit, no gang unit, no graffiti enforcement, no crime prevention. Every unit cut has impacted the local residence. So your concept is to give the residence enjoyment well they are being victimized. you cant enjoy your world without being safe. If you want to know the feeling go to Tijuana or any small mexican town and try to enjoy that world feeling the chaos around you.
<quoted text>
Also, I have seen several major accidents in Montebello in the last couple of months, and there were always about 4-8 MPD cars there. Where do you get your fantasy that there aren't enough cars to respond to a major incident, if that many cars are available for just a traffic accident? Why are you trying to raise panic about a non-existent problem?
Montebello community

Moreno Valley, CA

#16 Jul 10, 2011
Tell the truth" got us interested, like I said it sounds like he/she has inside scoop.. Don't drop names, nut maybe positions that are wasteful

I think parks and Rec Programs are great!

“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

#17 Jul 10, 2011
tell the truth wrote:
You have to cut from Parks and Rec. Not everyone uses the services, but everyone is affected by the day to day work police does..
I know that you are now in Ontario, but you know how ALL 400 or so parking spots are taken most weekends at Grant Rea Park most weekends. How can you say that not everyone uses parks? The problem is that there aren't enough parks for everyone.

The county, state, and federal government recommends aobut 10 acres of parkland for every thousand residents. Montebello has about 1.16 acres per thousand residents, or about a tenth of what is needed.

Most residents go months, years, or even decades without needing public safety services. Of course, they must still be there for the time when they will be needed, but if the city cannot pay for them, then they must be reduced (NOT ELIMINATED) to an affordable level. In bad metropolitan economic times, I believe that ALL governmental services must be reduced to what can be afforded, and no department is sacrosanct.

“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

#18 Jul 10, 2011
Montebello community wrote:
Tell the truth" got us interested, like I said it sounds like he/she has inside scoop.. Don't drop names, nut maybe positions that are wasteful
I think parks and Rec Programs are great!
You will note that I asked for numbers of positions and their salaries, not names.'Tell' does have the inside scoop, but I wish that 'Tell the Truth' would tell the WHOLE truth, and not just the part that interests 'Tell'.
Sinking Ship

Alhambra, CA

#19 Jul 10, 2011
42 yr North Mtb resident wrote:
<quoted text>Also, I have seen several major accidents in Montebello in the last couple of months, and there were always about 4-8 MPD cars there. Where do you get your fantasy that there aren't enough cars to respond to a major incident, if that many cars are available for just a traffic accident? Why are you trying to raise panic about a non-existent problem?
Wow, must not be "MAJOR" if it's "JUST A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT", you bafoon!

“Hilltop Park Above All”

Since: Sep 08

Montebello, CA

#20 Jul 11, 2011
42 yr North Mtb resident wrote:
<quoted text>Also, I have seen several major accidents in Montebello in the last couple of months, and there were always about 4-8 MPD cars there. Where do you get your fantasy that there aren't enough cars to respond to a major incident, if that many cars are available for just a traffic accident? Why are you trying to raise panic about a non-existent problem?

Sinking Ship blurts: Wow, must not be "MAJOR" if it's "JUST A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT", you bafoon!

42 yr asks: Are you sure you are responding to MY posting, as your answer doesn't really appear to make sense?

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