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City of La Palma
7822 Walker Street
La Palma, CA 90623
Ph: (714) 690-3300
Fx: (714) 523-2141
Financial Sustainability Committee
In July 2015, the La Palma City Council established the Citizen Committee on La Palma’s Sustainability and Future, better know as the Financial Sustainability Committee. The Committee was created at a critical juncture in the City's 60-year history. The Great Recession and loss of the City’s largest sales tax producer have reduced revenues, while pension and other costs have increased. In response, the City Council has reduced 20% of its workforce to pre-1985 staffing levels, from 65 employees to 52, including the elimination of two department directors. In addition, the City has been forced to consider suspending its signature event, La Palma Days. Unfortunately, these reductions are not nearly enough to achieve a balanced budget.

The types of measures beyond those already enacted and planned may impact the character and traditions of the City. Therefore, the City Council does not believe that it is prudent to consider any significant changes without input from the residents and the newly established Committee. 

Responsibilities of the Committee
The Committee is charged with the responsibility of reviewing the City’s operations and finances and to recommend to the City Council, a plan to achieve long-term financial sustainability. The Committee is supported by the City Manager and the Administrative Services Director to carry out its mandate. In addition, Department Directors will formerly present to the Committee a review of their respective departments, including which functions are mandated by law.

The Committee is tasked at a minimum to answering the following and to provide recommendations to the City Council by February 16, 2016:
  • What operational efficiencies can still be achieved while maintaining critical services expected by the residents?
  • Are the current revenue sources sufficient in keeping with La Palma’s sustainable? If not, what is/are the best option(s) for sustainability?

Membership and Structure of the Committee
The Committee is comprised of 11 community members. Each City Council Member appointed two (2) Committee Members while the Mayor appointed three (3). Any resident, business owner, or person who works in La Palma could apply for consideration. The Committee has full independence from the City Council and while Council Members may attend and make comments as members of the public, no formal intervention from the City Council is permitted.

  • Robert Carruth
  • Jonathan Dhauw
  • Jan Jensen
  • Christine Kim
  • Richard Lutz
  • Kris Moskowitz
  • Keith Nelson (Chair)
  • Cordell Porter
  • Jim Teeples
  • Mark Waldman (Vice-Chair)
  • Lisa Walker

The tentative Committee meeting schedule is as follows, but is subject to change. Pursuant to State law, the Agenda and support materials for Committee meetings are posted and available at least 72 hours before a meeting.

  • Tuesday, August 11 – 6:30 p.m. Committee Structure and Purpose, Introduction to City Finances, Organizational Structure, and Long-Term Outlook
  • Tuesday, September 8 – 6:30 p.m. Administrative Services and Community Services Department Operations
  • Tuesday, October 27 – 6:30 p.m. Community Development and Police Operations 
  • Tuesday, November 10 – 6:30 p.m. Follow up on Department Operations, Discussion of Options and Recommendations 
  • Tuesday, December 8 – 6:30 p.m. Continued Discussion (if necessary) and Provide Input for Draft Report 
  • Tuesday, January 12 – 6:30 p.m. Approve Final Draft of Report for Recommendation to City Council 
  • Tuesday, February 9 – 6:30 p.m. Joint Meeting with City Council

Final Report
On February 2, 2016, the Financial Sustainability Committee presented their Report to the La Palma City Council.