In a May 30 letter, Carrie Lujan, communications manager for the city of Santa Clarita, states that the adjustments cited in my May 17 letter were not cuts to the 2023-2024 budget.
As referenced in a May 3 Signal article, City Manager Ken Striplin mentioned during the May 2 City Council meeting “that staff is ‘requesting a variety of one-time adjustments to operational budgets’ to help absorb increases in the city’s cost of doing business, including $200,000 for parks maintenance, just under $200,000 for general services and $20,000 for library facilities, among others.”
In other words, a “rob Peter to pay Paul” scenario. The TOTAL budget doesn’t change, but the operational budget for the city’s cost of business increases at the expense of the operational budgets for parks maintenance, general services, library facilities and possibly other departments.
Perhaps none of this budgetary juggling would be necessary if the City Council was prudent with taxpayer funds. To wit, the $2 million giveaway to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital voted upon in February.
The larger issue raised is should the City Council be gifting taxpayer money to non-public entities. Considering the above scenario and the economic uncertainties due to the writers’ strike and a possible recession on the city coffers, I say wholeheartedly “NO.”
Steven H. Baron