City anticipates deficits in coming years

first_imgHomeNewsCity CouncilCity anticipates deficits in coming years May. 19, 2017 at 7:15 amCity CouncilNewsCity anticipates deficits in coming yearsGuest Author4 years agobudgetcity councilcity manager rick coledaily pressdaily press city councilrick coleSanta Monicasanta monica budgetSanta Monica City Councilsanta monica daily press While the Santa Monica’s fiscal outlook looks strong for the next two years, a dramatic rise in pension costs threatens the City’s ongoing stability, according to a nearly 400 page budget released by the City Manager’s Office Wednesday.Even if national economic growth continues over the next two years, the City faces a $3.8 million General Fund deficit in 2019 that balloons to $19 million in 2021, according to current estimates. Pensions and workers’ compensation present the most significant pressures on the budget.“We can and will avoid those sobering threats,” City Manager Rick Cole said in the report. “But only with a rigorous focus on the efficiency and effectiveness of our programs and expenditures — and accepting the reality that we will need to be exceptionally disciplined in setting priorities.”Beginning next year, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) lowers its anticipated investment growth from 7.5 percent to 7 percent. That half percent decrease over three years means an additional $2 million will come out of Santa Monica’s General Fund in 2018, and then $13 million in 2021. At the same time, workers’ compensation costs will likely increase between 5 to 10 percent and healthcare costs may increase by as much as 8 percent annually.The overall proposed budget for the City is $773.7 million in 2017/18 and $802.1 million in 2018/19. Total compensation, which includes employee salaries, pension contributions, health care and workers’ compensation costs, makes up 64 percent of the City’s overall operating budget.“To make the most of our resources, and to ensure that we continue to have resources in harder times, we must be purposeful, watchful, and strategic about how we spend,” Cole said.The City currently has 2,325 employees (both permanent and temporary) and will add net 5 positions over the next year, but plans to cut six positions soon after to end up with 2,324 by the end of the fiscal year in 2019. The City Manager’s office alone will cut a total of 16 positions from a high of 76 full time employees in 2015 to 60 in 2019.The City has faced a backlash from some neighborhood groups and fiscal conservatives over the last year in response to the size of city staff, their salaries and growing pension liability. The City’s various pension plans have a combined unfunded long-term liability of $387 million (the other 75 percent of its $1.5 billion liability is funded, according to the City’s Director of Finance Gigi Decavalles-Hughes). Complaints lead to the launch of an audit subcommittee to look at the City’s fiscal health.Critics often compare Santa Monica’s staff size to nearby Newport Beach which has a similar population but 1,700 fewer employees, according to the conservative watchdog Transparent California. However, the tax base for the two cities is starkly different. For example, in 2015 Santa Monica brought in twice as much Transit Occupancy Tax ($46.6 million compared to $25 million) while visitors spent $840 million more in Santa Monica than in Newport, according to data from the City of Santa Monica and Newport Beach & Co., the company that handles marketing for that city.However, despite Santa Monica’s diverse tax base, all major sources of revenue are projected to grow more slowly or decline over the coming years, according to the report. Charges for services make up 24 percent of the City’s revenue, sales tax accounts for 19 percent and hotel taxes and property taxes each make up 9 percent. Most of the City’s tax revenue depends on the health of the overall economy, International tourism, and the real-estate market, which could all be significantly impacted by economic an slow-down or down turn in the coming years. If the economy continues to grow, it would be the longest period of economic expansion in the last [email protected] :budgetcity councilcity manager rick coledaily pressdaily press city councilrick coleSanta Monicasanta monica budgetSanta Monica City Councilsanta monica daily pressshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentMarina Del Rey preparing for summer funPolice arrest convicted felon in shooting of young Samohi graduateYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall11 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson22 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter22 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor22 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press22 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press22 hours agolast_img read more

AP Explains: Columbus, once immigrant hero, now heel to some

first_imgHomeNewsEducationAP Explains: Columbus, once immigrant hero, now heel to some Oct. 12, 2019 at 7:00 pmEducationHistoryNewsAP Explains: Columbus, once immigrant hero, now heel to someAssociated Press2 years agoNo tags By RUSSELL CONTRERAS Associated PressThe image and story of Christopher Columbus, the 15th century navigator who began European incursions into the Americas, have changed in the U.S. over the decades. Columbus was an obscure figure until his adventures were revitalized in the 1800s. By the 1990s, a new generation of Native American activists blamed the navigator for launching centuries of indigenous genocide. With Columbus Day falling on Monday in the U.S. — and now being called Indigenous Peoples’ Day in some states — here’s a look at how views of Christopher Columbus have changed over the years:___THE MANBorn in the Republic of Genoa (now Italy), Columbus took part in several voyages in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas as a teenager and later participated in expeditions to Africa. Like Aristotle and others, Columbus believed that the world was round. He theorized that the distance between Spain’s Canary Islands and Japan was only around 2,300 miles (3,701 kilometers) and felt he could sail west to reach Asia for a new sought-out route for spices.It was really about 12,000 miles (19,321 kilometers). Columbus based his incorrect calculations on mystical texts, and ended up landing in the present-day Caribbean on Oct. 12, 1492.Columbus convinced Spain’s Queen Isabella to fund his voyage by promising that the riches he’d collect would be used to finance a crusade to “reclaim” Jerusalem for Christians. Instead, he found new foods, animals and indigenous people who, he wrote, were childlike and could be easily turned into slaves.As indigenous populations revolted against brutal Spanish treatment, Columbus ordered a ruthless crackdown that included having dismembered bodies being paraded in public. Eventually, Columbus was arrested on mismanagement and brutality charges and died a broken man.Around 60 years after Columbus’ arrival, the Taino indigenous population of the Caribbean had been reduced from an estimated 250,000 people to a few hundred because of slavery and death from new diseases.___RESURRECTIONColumbus remained a mostly unknown figure in the English-speaking world until Washington Irving released in 1828 his biographical account, “A History of the Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus.” The romanticized version became a best-seller in the United States and helped create the image of Columbus as a self-made man who overcame great odds.Thanks to the book, Columbus grew popular and Irving’s myth played into the frontier spirit of U.S. westward expansion at the expense of Native American tribes living there.However, the book falsely claimed that it was Columbus who convinced Europeans of his time that the Earth wasn’t flat. Others had made the same claim before.___IMMIGRANT HEROBeginning in the 1860s, Italian and Irish immigrants started celebrating Columbus in local parades. They claimed him as America’s very first founding father and used his story to insert themselves into the U.S. narrative. From the mid-1800s to the early 1900s, Italian and Irish immigrants endured years of discrimination and exclusion from jobs and higher education.Still, some white nationalists attacked Columbus. In 1874, for example, Norwegian American scholar Rasmus Bjorn Anderson published “America Not Discovered By Columbus.” Anderson argued that the Vikings were the first Europeans to set foot in the Americas, not Columbus. The Vikings, Anderson explained, were the pure white race and Christians who started the U.S. narrative, not someone like Columbus or southern Europeans.Nonetheless, Italian Americans convinced local and state authorities to adopt Columbus Day holidays. Annual Columbus Day parades celebrated Italian American heritage and transformed into vehicles of political influence as politicians raced to participate. Meanwhile, the Native American population shrunk to its lowest numbers, and many Native Americans were barred from voting.___NATIVE AMERICAN BACKLASHHoward Zinn’s 1980 “A People’s History of the United States” introduced the general public to the atrocities committed by Columbus and his crew against indigenous people. His book mirrored the findings of other historians and ethnic studies scholars.By 1992, Columbus Day parades and holidays had transformed into an American holiday. Then a planned 500th-anniversary celebration in San Francisco of Columbus’ arrival turned into mayhem.About 4,000 protesters led by Native American activists blocked a parade of floats, marching bands and Columbus reenactors. They yelled “no to slavery and genocide” and denounced Columbus as a racist. Parade participants were hit with eggs. Authorities arrested 40 people.Since then, a new generation of Native American advocates has pressed states to change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. They’ve sought to remove Columbus and other conquistador imagery from public spaces. Today, activists continue to protest Columbus Day celebrations, sparking tensions between older Italian Americans and Native American advocates.share on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentCounty could study plastic banLocal public school students continue to test above state averagesYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall7 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson18 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter18 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor18 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press18 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press18 hours agolast_img read more