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The City of La Palma is at a critical juncture in its 60-year history. After the Great Recession and loss of its largest sales tax producer, revenues have been reduced while pension and other costs have increased.
In response, the City Council continues towards a 20 percent reduction of its workforce to pre-1985 staffing levels, from 65 employees to 52, including the elimination of two department directors.
To begin to address these concerns, La Palma Mayor Peter Kim had submitted a Council Member Request on May 19 for the City Council to consider appointing a temporary ad hoc citizen committee that would be tasked with reviewing the City’s operations and finances and then recommending to the City Council a plan to achieve long-term financial sustainability.
The City Council approved the committee and applications were due by July 7, with 35 applications being received by the deadline. Any resident, business owner, or person who works in La Palma could have applied for consideration.
The committee will have support and assistance from the City Manager and the Administrative Services Director to carry out its mandate. In addition, Department Directors will formally present to the Committee a review of their respective departments that include functions mandated by law.
The Committee is tasked at a minimum to answer questions and to provide recommendations to the City Council by February 16, 2016.
Questions include what operational efficiencies can still be achieved while maintaining critical services expected by the residents, and are the current revenue sources sufficient in keeping La Palma sustainable.
Appointments to the Committee were made at the July 21 meeting.
Council Member Hwangbo appointed long-time residents Robert Carruth and Keith Nelson. Council Member Steggell appointed Jan Jensen and Kris Moskowitz. Council Member Shanahan appointed Mark Waldman and Lisa Walker. Mayor Pro Tem Goedhart appointed Richard Lutz and Jim Teeples. Mayor Kim appointed Jonathan Dhauw, Christine Kim, and Cordell Porter.
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