Photo by Andrés Oyaga
The South Pasadena City Council approved a new financial plan that will be put in place should Measure N be passed in the upcoming November elections Wednesday, September 19. The passage of Measure N would repeal the Utility User Tax (UUT), eliminating the second largest revenue source for the city and 3.4 million dollars from the city’s annual budget.
The plan will incite the layoffs of 12 public safety employees and removal of city crossing guards and school safety officers. Additionally, the budget calls for a reduction of 1 million dollars a year in street repairs and maintenance. Library closure all day on Sundays and Mondays and lessened hours on the other days of the week, and eliminations of programs for the library, school, and crime is also included in the plan.
In discussion, none of the council members were fond of any of the possible scenarios. The council members were concerned of the library’s closing day of Sunday, understanding that many families are only able to travel to the library on weekends. It was also recognized that the reduction in public service members, including police officers, would put South Pasadena below the national average of 1.75 officers per one thousand residents.
“Services make the city, and the services are made by the people, and without that we cannot provide the same level of service that our residents have enjoyed to date,” Councilmember Diana Mahmad said.
The approved financial plan was deemed the least threatening to the city population lifestyle by the city council, who unanimously approved the contingent budget.
The plan’s implementation will be dependent on the ballot results in the November 6 elections. A “YES” vote for Measure N will repeal the UUT and a “NO” vote will maintain the existing tax.