Temple City Approves Another Balanced Budget

City Council approves City Manager’s reorganization plans, cuts Chamber contribution.

Written by RAYMOND TRAN / Published May 27, 2011

After a long night of discussion, the City Council on Tuesday passed a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The City Council voted to approve the city manager’s revised budget at the June 29, 2010 special city council meeting.

With the approval of the 2010-2011 fiscal year budget, City Manager Jose Pulido’s proposal to reorganize City Hall passed. Earlier, the city manager proposed to eliminate the Public Services department, while consolidating services into the Community Development and Parks and Recreation departments.

The City Council also voted to have City employees contribute one percent of their salaries toward their retirement benefits. This marks the first time Temple City has asked its employees to contribute to their pensions.

By law, the City and employees must pay a certain percentage of employees’ salaries toward a pension fund.

“Currently, the City pays for the employee, which is 8 percent of the salary of the employee,” Financial Services Manager Monica Molina said in response to a question by Councilman Vincent Yu.

The City also pays the employer’s portion, which is 14.48 percent, Molina acknowledged.

Councilman Carl Blum, who joined the City Council in April, appeared surprised by what he heard.

“So we’ve been paying the entire 14 plus 8?” he asked Molina.

The financial services manager said yes.

Councilman Yu noted that employees’ benefits would not change.

“The actual retirement benefits will not be reduced by one percent,” he said. “It will remain the same.”

In addition to asking City employees to contribute one percent to CALPERS, the City Council voted 3-2 to cut $2000 from its contribution to the Temple City Chamber of Commerce.

Last year, Temple City contributed $72,000 to the Chamber.

Councilmembers Blum and Yu initially advocated against the cut, citing the City Manager’s proposed estimate of revenue surplus; whereas Mayor Fernando Vizcarra, Mayor Pro Tempore Tom Chavez, and Councilwoman Cynthia Sternquist offered a cut from $5000 to $7000.

Since City employees will be asked to sacrifice, the Chamber should as well, Sternquist argued.

In the end, Councilman Blum made a motion to cut $2000. It passed 3-2 with Chavez and Sternquist voting no.

“I don’t want us to get to the point where we have to propose draconian measures,” Mayor Vizcarra said. “We came up with the least painful move to protect the City as well as the City employees.”

The City Manager’s budget originally proposed slightly over $6000 in revenue surplus at the end of fiscal year 2010-2011, but the City Council raised the amount to $106,000. That amount does not include the $21 million in general funds the City has.

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