Discussing city finances at 8:00 in the morning is a challenge to hold the attention of your audience, but the City of Arcadia‘s Administrative Services Director, Hue Quach, did just that. Quach’s presentation Thursday, May 7, 2015, at the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Government Affairs Forum sponsored by Keystone 365 Sponsor Singpoli in the Chamber’s conference room sponsored by Foothill Credit Union, was filled with fascinating and information about how the City’s General Fund is spent, as well as other areas under Quach’s oversight in addition to Accounting and Finance, including IT, Human Resources and Purchasing.
Arcadia Chamber CEO Scott Hettrick filled in as moderator of the Forum that also included reports from the offices of Congresswoman Judy Chu, Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez and Supervisor Antonovich, City of Arcadia officials, among others. Chairman Jack Orswell from Orswell & Kasman, Inc. Environmental Assessments & Consulting, and co-chair Peter Ulrich, were absent.
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According to Hue, the City will show a net profit of $4,387,500 based on approximately $59.3 mil. in revenue and $55 mil. in expenditures in the General Fund. The primary expenditures are for police (35% – $18.864 mil.) and fire (25% – $13.7 mil.). Arcadia is a full-service city, meaning the city provides police, fire and public works services as opposed to other area cities that contract out with County fire or the Sheriff’s Department for protection. Together, police, fire and public works accounts for 69.7% of the budget. Some of the sources of general fund revenue includes property and sales taxes. Property taxes account for 23% of general fund revenue with sales taxes bringing in 22% of that revenue. For every dollar collected in property taxes the City of Arcadia gets 9-cents. With respect to sales tax, the city gets 1 penny for every dollar spent.
It should be noted that the overall budget for the City is $103 mil but much of that comes from non-discretionary funding sources, meaning the Council cannot decided how or where to spend it. There are 34 different funds that cannot be co-mingled with the General Fund. It is interesting to note that Capital Improvement Fund gets its revenue stream from the racetrack. One-third of of one-percent of all bets placed at the racetrack go to this fund.
The Forum also heard from Viola Van, representing Congresswoman Judy Chu. Viola presented slides of Arcadian Diane Lucas who was recently honored at the Women of Distinction event sponsored by the Congresswoman. Mayor Gary Kovacic nominated her for her outstanding service to our community, including more than 38 years working for the Arcadia Unified School District. In addition, Diane has been a choir teacher at the Church of the Good Shepherd. In a separate note, Viola indicates that two students from Arcadia High School placed in the top 8 out of 200 submissions for the artistic discovery awards. The winner of the competition will have their artwork placed in the U.S. Capitol and will be flown to Washington, D.C. Also, on June 6th, in conjunction with Assembly Member Ed Chau’s office, the Congresswoman with be co-sponsoring a scam prevention workshop at the Arcadia Community Center from 9 a.m. till 12 p.m.
- Clayton Arick, representing Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez, informed the group that next Thursday, May 21, the Senator will be sponsoring a Financial Literary for College Students event in partnership with State Controller Betty Yee’s office. The event will take place at Citrus College.
- Adam Hsu, representing Assembly Member Ed Chau, indicates that the Assembly Member recently visited Arcadia High School to congratulate the three students who received perfect scores on the SAT. Adam also mentioned the scam prevention workshop that the Assembly Member and Congresswoman Judy Chu will be co-sponsoring in June.
- The group also heard from Brian Mejia of Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich’s office, who indicates that the Supervisor is working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on a Peace Over Violence program aimed at preventing sexual harassment on MTA buses and trains. To report incidents the public should call 888-950-SAFE. Brian also indicates that the Pomona Valley Medical Center will house the new trauma center for the East San Gabriel Valley. The Supervisor has his big annual Veterans event at the County’s Arcadia Park coming up on May 23 with Fritz Colemen as emcee, skydivers and myriad patriotic performances and salutes. The supervisor will also be hosting his annual Family Music Festival at the Arboretum on June 7.
- Jason Kruckeberg, Assistant City Manager and Development Services Manager for the City of Arcadia, reported that the City is in the 36% reduction tier for water conservation. The City is working on one project to tear out some turf and replace it with drought resistant plants. One of the big challenges is how to keep the pine trees alive, especially in light of the dangers from bark beetle infestation. Jason also indicates that there is an 81-acre parcel site ready for development on Lower Azusa Road. The property itself is completely surrounded by the city of El Monte. Jason indicates that the property could be developed into a logistics center.
- Linda Sells from the Monrovia, Arcadia and Duarte town council indicates the council is getting a great showing at it’s meetings. There has been an increase in residential burglaries and the council is working with the Sheriff’s department on theft prevention. Linda also reports that they are looking for a new home for the Live Oak library.
- Rainbow Yeung from the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) indicates that her agency will be doing a lawnmower exchange program on June 20 at Santa Anita Park race track. You must pre-register online to exchange your old gas powered lawnmower for new electric powered model.
In other reports from attendees:
- Former Mayor Bob Harbicht reports that the Special Olympics World Games with 10,000 athletes and coaches is coming to Los Angeles this summer. The City of Arcadia is one of a select number of Host Towns for 100 athletes who will be shown the sites around town for a couple days prior to starting their competitions. Bob encouraged everyone to dine at The Derby on May 18 because the Chamber member restaurant will donate 100% of all money spent that day by patrons indicating that they are there for the Special Olympics fundraiser.
- Teri Muse from Waste Management reminds Arcadia residents that you can dispose of used paint at your door. Waste Management will take the used paint and the City actually gets reimbursed for participating in the program, So when you clean out your garages you can get your old paint cans taken away and disposed of by Waste Management.
- Finally, Mike Vercillo from the Arcadia Police Department indicates that the next Coffee with A Cop will take place on May 21 at 9:30 a.m. at Methodist Hospital. Come have coffee with Arcadia’s finest. Mike also indicates that this year there has been a spike in burglaries and reminds everyone that they can participate in the Neighborhood Watch program to help reduce crime.
The public is invited at 8 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month to hear informative presentations at the monthly Government Affairs Forum sponsored by Singpoli and led by Chairman Jack Orswell from Orswell & Kasman, Inc. Environmental Assessments & Consulting, and co-chairman Pete Ulrich, former Arcadia City Councilman. RSVPs to the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce office are appreciated – (626) 447-2159 or info@ArcadiaCaChamber.org.