2018-19 City Budget Defies Expectations, Woolsey Fire to Remain Balanced

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City Manager Reva Feldman presented a balanced budget in the fiscal year 2018-19 fourth-quarter report that was filed on Monday, Nov. 25, despite the effects of the Woolsey Fire, heavy winter rain and other problems expected by impact the city’s coffers this year. 

The City of Malibu’s General Fund Undesignated Reserve held $28.3 million as of the end of the fiscal year, which ended on June 30. 

General Fund revenues were $35.3 million, or 109 percent of the annual budgeted amount for the fiscal year. Additional income for the city came from property tax revenue— $11.1 million, exceeding the budgeted amount by $1.3 million “even after the loss of 480 homes in the Woolsey Fire,” a staff report stated. Transient Occupancy Tax—money raised from hotels and Airbnbs—also brought in more than anticipated, garnering $2.5 million for the city this year, $400,000 more than expected.

As for the first quarter of fiscal year 2019-20, the General Fund Undesignated Reserve was projected to be $25 million by June 30, 2020, according to Lisa Soghor, Assistant City Manager, in numbers prepared for the Nov. 25 council meeting. 

Longtime California State Parks manager Suzanne Goode earns commendation

Suzanne Goode, the natural resource program manager for the California Department of Parks and Recreation—Angeles District, was commended by Mayor Karen Farrer and the City of Malibu on Monday for her decades of service to the Santa Monica Mountains area.

Goode, who began her job with California Department of Parks and Recreation in 1989, recently retired.

“I recognize the many dedicated civil servants and residents of the community that have worked so hard to protect this wonderful environment,” Goode said. “I’ve really, really enjoyed working with the city on such projects and I thank you for recognizing me.”

Farmers market secures parking

Santa Monica College Malibu Satellite Campus construction has caused a headache for the Malibu Farmers Market—but now the market has secured a path forward to allow temporary offsite parking. 

The market, operated by Cornucopia Foundation on land owned by LA County, has been disrupted by construction on the campus; following the passing of a zone text amendment on Monday, parking will be permitted on the nearby Ioki property. 

Construction is expected to continue for approximately two more years.

New Public Safety Commissioner named

The unexpected death of Public Safety Commissioner Andy Cohen necessitated Council Member Rick Mullen selecting a new commissioner to fill his shoes.

“This unfortunate event has been brought about by the untimely, tragic death of Andy Cohen,” Mullen said, adding, “he was a fine individual who really did an amazing amount of things in a short period of time, and really came into his position like a bat out of hell, for lack of a better expression.”

Mullen said Cohen was a wonderful commissioner and sent his gratitude to his family for sharing his time with the community.

Mullen then named Dane Skophammer his pick to fill Cohen’s vacancy.

“The thing I like about Dane is he is a man of integrity who comes from a rock-solid Malibu family,” Mullen said. 

“I look at Dane and I think, ‘That’s the future of Malibu,’” Mullen later said, thanking Skophammer for his volunteer work during the Woolsey Fire, on top of other experience Mullen cited—namely, his years growing up in Malibu.

STR hearing to take place next week

The City of Malibu has scheduled a special council meeting to discuss a proposed short-term rental ordinance, next Tuesday, Dec. 3, 6:30 p.m. at Malibu City Hall.