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Cerritos City Council Will Consider Major Cuts to Operating Budget, Including Sheriff’s Station

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By Brian Hews

This Thursday’s Cerritos City Council meeting is certain to have controversy, as the Council will consider potential cuts to the $101.7 million operating budget.

The cuts have been necessitated by the impact of the redevelopment dissolution which has reduced the city’s reserves by $27 million over the past six years, reducing the general fund from $80.6 million to $53 million for the current year.

Thursday’s agenda contains several reduction proposals with the corresponding budgetary impact.

What is certain to draw major attention is the proposed elimination of the SkyKnight Helicopter Program and converting the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station to a local area station.

The proposed cuts were placed on the agenda by Councilwoman Carol Chen and Mayor pro tem Naresh Solanki after they unsuccessfully tried to hold up budget approval at a prior meeting by unexpectedly proposing the closure of the Station. They were voted down 3-2 at that meeting.


Cerritos Mayor port tem Naresh Solanki, Councilwoman Carol Chen and former Cerritos Mayor Bruce Barrows. Solanki and Chen voted to close the Cerritos Sheriff's station at a Council meeting and sources have told HMG-CN that Barrows is in favor of the closing. Photo courtesy

Cerritos Mayor port tem Naresh Solanki, Councilwoman Carol Chen and former Cerritos Mayor Bruce Barrows. Solanki and Chen voted to close the Cerritos Sheriff’s station at a Council meeting and sources have told HMG-CN that Barrows is in favor of the closing. Photo courtesy


The proposed cuts would save over $3.3 million but “safety and response time in the City will be compromised,” as all Sheriff’s would be dispatched from the Lakewood station.

Mayor George Ray and Council members Jim Edwards and Mark Pulido blasted Chen and Solanki at the meeting for suggesting the cuts to the Sheriff’s station.

Pulido reminded both Chen and Solanki that they campaigned on community safety and said, “it would be a non-starter for me if we cut the Sheriff’s station.”

Edwards agreed and Mayor Ray said, “we need to have a discussion on this, our residents should have input on this, I am not for cutting the station.”

Other cuts include City Commissions; many Cerritos residents have complained for years about the commissions that operate within the City.

The Planning Commission is a well-known tool used by Council members to appoint commissioners who will eventually run for Council.

All Commissioners are paid some sort of stipend for attending meetings, costing the City over $50,000 per year.

Consequently, the City is proposing eliminating the following: Fine Arts and Historical, Economic Development, and the Parks and Recreation commissions.

Another controversial cut will be the proposed 50% reduction in City subsidies to community groups, saving the city $78,000.

The cuts would severely impact the Cerrito’s Regional Chamber of Commerce, Community Family Guidance, Pathways Volunteer Hospice, and Su Casa.

The Cerritos Senior Center will not be immune to scrutiny as the city is looking at reducing the scope of many programs and eliminating the Senior Fitness/Wellness Series and Senior Health Fair for a savings of almost $21,000.

The City is also proposing cuts to major programs and services that the Recreation Division provides to residents: Festival of Friendship, Volunteer Recognition, Easter Egg Hunt, Community Spring Festival, Swim Center Safety Expo, Let Freedom Ring Celebration, 9/11 Evening of Remembrance, Community Bike Ride Event, and the Halloween Festival for a savings of over $78,000.

A proposed $282,000 cut to Cerritos Library will mandate closure on Friday evenings and on weekends.

Finally, the City is proposing withdrawal from the Magnolia Powerplant Organization, ceasing operation as an electrical utility while also considering the potential lease of the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts to a private operator, ending direct City involvement in the daily operations and programming of the CCPA. Both are listed as savings “To Be Determined.”

$4.211 million in savings would be realized if all cuts were implemented, with the closure of the Cerritos Sheriff’s Station accounting for 78% ($3.3 million) of the total cuts.


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AndyAmericanDouche Urban MenopauseCerritos Residents speak in ProtestComments from the Cerritos CouncilPerforming arts center- Pink Elephant Recent comment authors

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What if the Cerritos city council limit the number of sheriff ‘fly-overs’ down to reasonable number instead of hearing those darn helicopter every hour / around the clock?! What was the price tag on each fly over from the cities “Sky-watch”, is it still $10,000 every time they fly completely over the city? Now get out those calculators and do the math! This city was once great to live in! Now you cannot tell the difference between us and Riverside- there, I said it! I understand the premise behind the Sky-watch program but flying at such speeds at such great… Read more »

Douche Urban Menopause
Guest The three Republican Stooges who are against the sheriff’s, are they really against the sheriff’s, or about balancing the budget, or against the Unions, namely the LA COUNTY SHERIFFS???? We all knew this was coming, when Don Knabe , LA CO supervisor is termed out in Nov 2016. We all knew the sunset of the Calif RDA funds, so that should not be part of the cry babbie’s budget woes! I read the agenda for the city of Cerritos, I really wondering how many people in Cerritos got a 10% raise, when the sheriff’s Union got a 10% raise,… Read more »

Cerritos Residents speak in Protest

Most of the comments from my email blast are upset: Calendar for this meeting is poor: School start up and peak vacations week. It reads, City Council does not care about proposed tax or budget reduction, this budget agenda should be on a stand alone calendar, plus placing this budget agenda items, at the end of the public hearing sends out a negative message. There are two parts to this discussion. Program cost and reduction savings, plus implanting new sales city sales tax. Staff is not making any recommendations to reducing programs, just outline the potential cost savings. Staff is… Read more »

Comments from the Cerritos Council

8//25 Meeting | Comments from Councilpersons: Carol Chen, Solanki, Jim Edwards, Mayor George Ray, Joseph Cho | [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; Readers, these comments were from many residents living in Cerritos. Councilperson Carol Chen, ( R) requested staff to report back to all of us, how the proposed sales tax increase could poss. handicap sales revenue and wanted data how other cities had handicap revenue streams, after raising sale tax. This report does not address this. Chen also wanted data on the number of trees which need to be trimmed, the amount of filed insurance claims from the street… Read more »

Performing arts center- Pink Elephant

Nothing mentioned about selling or sub leasing the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. That is one hell of an expensive line item or alternative park, the taxpayers are subsidizing. This is not even an community program, it is only usable by paid subscriptions. Funds to operate this, come from the General Funds, but the general public can not afford to attend. Only aprox 9% of the residents from Cerritos, use this center. The budget reports for this agenda, does not address the CCPA. Sheriffs are another pink elephant, our crime, accidents are increasing. There is more staff in the… Read more »