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Is Chula Vista's Future Blight Around the Corner?

"On July 1, 2011, we have a budget gap of $12.5 million, which depending on the outcome of Proposition H, could grow to $18 million," said Chula Vista City Manager Jim Sandoval during Tuesday's city council meeting.

Proposition H, the Utility Users Tax, would revamp the levy on phone companies and extend the assessment. According to Sandoval, residents would pay anywhere from 88 cents to two bucks a month if voters extend the tax. The estimated $6 million in tax receipts would be needed revenue during what city officials predict to be a slow economic recovery.

Since 2008, the South Bay city has witnessed an 18 percent decline in property tax receipts, a 17 percent decrease in sales-tax revenues, a 28 percent drop in the hotel-tax revenues, and a 39 percent decrease in developer-impact fees. Chula Vista ranks fourth in the county — behind Imperial Beach, Oceanside, and Coronado — in sales-tax revenues per capita.

Assuming the Telecommunications Users Tax passes, according to charts shown during Tuesday's presentation, the budget gap during the next five years will not go away. By the year 2015, officials predict the City's deficit to be $9.7 million — if voters refuse the tax, the deficit could grow to $18 million.

To bridge the gap, the city manager laid out a list of public service cuts, including axing 71.5 jobs from the city's payroll. Among the cuts is a 14 percent reduction to the library department, in addition to the 56 percent of cuts in that department since 2007, and a 21 percent drop in funding for the recreation department, adding to the 44 percent cuts since fiscal year 2007/2008.

After staff's presentation, the pubic was given a chance to comment. More than 40 people waited in line to speak to the council.

"I suggest that you don't spend what you don't have. The only way to work our way out of debt is by not going into debt," said William Howard, a 45-year resident of Chula Vista.

Nearly two hours of public comment later, councilmembers spoke on the upcoming reductions to the budget.

"There are still some glaring examples of where the city could have done better," said councilmember John McCann, referring to the failed attempt at bringing a Home Depot to the site of the now defunct Kmart on Third Avenue.

"The process became so arduous...and now we lost the Home Depot. We do not have those jobs...we are left with a blighted area," said McCann.

Councilmember Rudy Ramirez also reflected on the past few years, since Chula Vista's money woes began. "This has become an annual event for us. Here we are again, faced with the same issues of dwindling resources and the demand for services.... I continue to be pessimistic about our economic future."

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"On July 1, 2011, we have a budget gap of $12.5 million, which depending on the outcome of Proposition H, could grow to $18 million," said Chula Vista City Manager Jim Sandoval during Tuesday's city council meeting.

Proposition H, the Utility Users Tax, would revamp the levy on phone companies and extend the assessment. According to Sandoval, residents would pay anywhere from 88 cents to two bucks a month if voters extend the tax. The estimated $6 million in tax receipts would be needed revenue during what city officials predict to be a slow economic recovery.

Since 2008, the South Bay city has witnessed an 18 percent decline in property tax receipts, a 17 percent decrease in sales-tax revenues, a 28 percent drop in the hotel-tax revenues, and a 39 percent decrease in developer-impact fees. Chula Vista ranks fourth in the county — behind Imperial Beach, Oceanside, and Coronado — in sales-tax revenues per capita.

Assuming the Telecommunications Users Tax passes, according to charts shown during Tuesday's presentation, the budget gap during the next five years will not go away. By the year 2015, officials predict the City's deficit to be $9.7 million — if voters refuse the tax, the deficit could grow to $18 million.

To bridge the gap, the city manager laid out a list of public service cuts, including axing 71.5 jobs from the city's payroll. Among the cuts is a 14 percent reduction to the library department, in addition to the 56 percent of cuts in that department since 2007, and a 21 percent drop in funding for the recreation department, adding to the 44 percent cuts since fiscal year 2007/2008.

After staff's presentation, the pubic was given a chance to comment. More than 40 people waited in line to speak to the council.

"I suggest that you don't spend what you don't have. The only way to work our way out of debt is by not going into debt," said William Howard, a 45-year resident of Chula Vista.

Nearly two hours of public comment later, councilmembers spoke on the upcoming reductions to the budget.

"There are still some glaring examples of where the city could have done better," said councilmember John McCann, referring to the failed attempt at bringing a Home Depot to the site of the now defunct Kmart on Third Avenue.

"The process became so arduous...and now we lost the Home Depot. We do not have those jobs...we are left with a blighted area," said McCann.

Councilmember Rudy Ramirez also reflected on the past few years, since Chula Vista's money woes began. "This has become an annual event for us. Here we are again, faced with the same issues of dwindling resources and the demand for services.... I continue to be pessimistic about our economic future."

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Comments
40

Of course, they can just ignore the deficit, like San Diego.

Oct. 6, 2010

Chula Vista voters need to get informed and then elect some NEW Leaders that are not themselves part of the Problem...

i.e. SWC needs NEW Board members and only the voters can help "FIX" the Old Boy network that has taken so much of the educational money and transferred it to the Developers "bottom lines".... SWC is not even accredited now because their Board wants to build more buildings (and help their big Donors) instead of taking care of the "Business" of Education... + Want more info on this sad story, just click on Neighborhoods/Chula Vista and you will see that there are "TOO MANY" examples to read about...

Please tell all your friends and help CV change it's ways!

Oct. 6, 2010

Vote Yes on Prop H. Save City Services.

Oct. 6, 2010

Vote Yes on Prop H. Save City Services

here, let me fix this;

"Vote Yes on Prop H. Save Cadillac Gold Plated PENSIONS for under worked City Employees who already have salaries over $100K, cannot be fired, and retire at age 50"

Fixed :)

Oct. 7, 2010

@SurfPuppy619: Tell me how you really feel. I'd take the time to disagree with each of your points, but having seen your posts from the past . . . I think we all can see your visceral distaste for those that serve you.

Oct. 9, 2010

I think we all can see your visceral distaste for those that serve you.

No, I have a distaste for public employees who steal from the poor and middle class to line their own pockets and retire at age 50 as millionaires while everyone else is being left homeless and hungry because of the tax hikes to pay for these scams..

Oct. 9, 2010

wid ya pup!!!

Oct. 9, 2010

@surfpuppy619: and you have proof this is going-on in Chula Vista? I am not talking about Bell, CA. I am talking about Chula Vista. Where is your proof? You have none except wild accusations. Again, the visceral distaste you have is ever present.

Oct. 9, 2010

@surfpuppy619: and you have proof this is going-on in Chula Vista? I am not talking about Bell, CA. I am talking about Chula Vista. Where is your proof?

Just go to the HR dept, tell them you are requesting a list of everyone in the City that is COMPED (total employee costs = salary and ALL benefits including pensions)-that is all the proof you, or anyone else, need.

Listen Pancho buddy, the PD and FD are comping over $200K per year, that is about 5 times the mean income for CV. The cops and FF's, and tons of other employees, are retiring as young as age 50, with pensions of $100K+ per year, THAT IS WHERE YOU START< RIGHT THERE, before you start trying to pick the pockets of the poor and middle class thru tax scams-like H.

You need to start with the employees- all the info is out there. Your spin will not work here, just as the curtain caem down in Bell, it will in CV.

Oct. 9, 2010

@surfpuppy619: Again, you have NO proof, just absurd accusations.

Oct. 10, 2010

Pancho-please.

These are WELL documented facts, all you have to do is go to the websites and look, or simply call the HR department, these are all public records.

I love it when the public employee trough feeders try to make the poor house claim!

Once agian, get your fat greedy hands out of the pockets of the poor and middle class, if you need more money cut the $200K+ comp packages of the PD and FD-since they are paid the most, by far.

Oct. 10, 2010

Prop H. Some folks may now be thinking Prep H.

Oct. 10, 2010

@surfpuppy619: First, you don't call HR. You'll need to do a Freedom of Information Act request from the City Clerk's office. I know, I've done this on many matters. Second, the city posts it's pay for all job classes, and yes I know this does not include the overtime that public safety personnel make. By my count there are five people in the city that make over 200k: those are the city manager, the two deputy city managers, the police chief and the city attorney.

Oct. 10, 2010

Second, the city posts it's pay for all job classes, and yes I know this does not include the overtime that public safety personnel make.

By my count there are five people in the city that make over 200k

It also does not include the benefit costs, which DOUBLE the cost of public safety jobs. NOT counting over time.

BTW, your so called police chief, he is comping about $400K per year, and another couple hundred K per year from his SDPD pension, and who knows how much he is getting his US Marshall's service pension......

As for you claim that only 5 people "make" over $200K, wrong again, you are only countign salary, you left out the other HALF of their comp, the benefits.

In fact I would bet EVERY single CV employee who works full time comps over $100K in CV.

Oct. 10, 2010

Reply #14 Thanks SP for yet another great post!

The "real" financial situation in CV is dismal and only new elected Leaders will be able to set the record and the finances straight!

The same goes for SWC, as they are also spending huge amounts of money on pet projects instead of Student education!

Oct. 10, 2010

@Surfpuppy619: I see you ignored my first point. You have no proof still and you have now moved your argument that city employees get paid 200k to 100k. Which is it? Health benefit packages are less than 11k per year and the city pays the 8% if the city share and the 8% (9 & 9 for public safety) of the employees share. This is my understanding and I could be wrong, but your arguments are still just based on gut feelings and not fact. You lost your bet as soon as you finished typing the letters. I am sure, you'll pull one sentence out and pick it apart, just as you always do, and ignore all the other arguments I have made simply because you want to believe asinine conclusions based on fear and not fact.

Oct. 10, 2010

@Founder: I thought the last round of newly elected officials were supposed to clean-up the city? The record will never really be set straight. The city leaders and city unions both tell half-truths.

As the old saying goes . . . "Out with the old boss, in with the new boss, same as the old boss."

Oct. 10, 2010

I see you ignored my first point. You have no proof still and you have now moved your argument that city employees get paid 200k to 100k.

I NEVER said city employees get paid $200K, I said they were comped $200K. That is a FACT, well established FACT. In FACT they actually are comped MUCH MORE b/c I ddi not include over time in the trough feeders compensation.

You're the typical trough feeding public employee trying to stick your hand in the pockets of the poor while fudging your compensation numbers.

Prop H is going down, you know it, I know it and so does everyone else. Your welfare scamming days are over. Time to cut that $200K COMP!!!!!!

Oct. 10, 2010

I'm not a public employee, simply a user of public facilities for me and my family. I think I'd be a fool if I thought Prop H pass or any other would pass. Understand this, when Prop H doesn't pass, you'll wish it did by next year at this time.

You should learn how to type without capitals. It really demonstrates, well, your ignorance. All you need to do is scroll back up and you'll see your quotes several times about 200k. Any further efforts arguing with absurd ignorance would simply be waste of my time and I'd rather watch paint dry.

Oct. 10, 2010

Reply #19 "a user of public facilities for me and my family" Sounds to me like someone that lives out of town but just happens to know all the exact figures to post yet also continues to call others "names", which is the lowest form of argumentation.

So Pancho, do you even reside in the San Diego Area or are you just blogging to protect your or someone else's investments or pensions here? Because if that is the case, since you "just" joined as Pancho recently, that makes those that have been around a while concerned, that you are not just blogging your very own "local" viewpoint but those of some group or Media ($PIN) Business!

Perhaps you should just "watch paint dry" instead of trying to redirect the blog about the " glaring examples of where the city could have done better," said councilmember John McCann". Leadership not Prep H (sic) will get Chula Vista (and SWC) out of debt and back on the road to recovery!

The best way to get improved Leadership is to elect new people to replace those that helped cause these financial problems in the first place and are themselves part of what's wrong in South Bay!

I hope CV voters will "Just Say No" to BOTH reelecting incumbents and Prep H (sic)!

Like the City of San Diego, the sooner The City of Chula Vista goes bankrupt, the sooner their pension debacle will end and voters will begin to get Services again and see their Property values rise!

Oct. 11, 2010

I live in Chula. West side. Thanks for your optimistic post of our two cities. Obviously, I was arguing with two troll's who have very bleak outlooks on the future of our region. I should have known better.

Oct. 11, 2010

Reply #21

RE: "Obviously, I was arguing with two troll's".

Name calling is so "Junior High School-ish"...

How about actually sharing your vision for South Bay's economic recovery, instead of just calling others names?

Prep H (sic) will not get CV out of debt, so what is your solution, besides more of the same poor Leadership; that's what we are trying to discuss!

Oct. 11, 2010

Do you even live in Chula? Economic recovery will be slow, as with the entire region.

Oct. 11, 2010

Understand this, when Prop H doesn't pass, you'll wish it did by next year at this time.

NO, I will not wish it had passed, in fact I will be doing my "Happy Dance" on it's grave!

All you need to do is scroll back up and you'll see your quotes several times about 200k.

Man, you must have the brain power of a rock. I NEVER said (once again) that CV emplpoyees "made" $200K, I said they were COMPED $200K. here, let me post exactly what I said for you so your GED brain can view it up close and personal, maybe that will do the trick;

9. "Listen Pancho buddy, the PD and FD are comping over $200K per year, that is about 5 times the mean income for CV. The cops and FF's, and tons of other employees, are retiring as young as age 50, with pensions of $100K+ per year..."

By SurfPuppy619 8:11 p.m., Oct 9, 2010

Does that help Sleepy?

Oct. 11, 2010

Do you even live in Chula? Economic recovery will be slow,

But bankruptcy will be FAST for CV!!!!

CV has more red ink than any other SD County muni-with the possible exception of SD itself, but CV may have even more than SD.

Prop H is going down, the $200 COMP jig is up. Time to bring the over COMPED cops and firewhiners back to planet earth. No mroe higest comp in the entire county.

I would give them ALL 25% pay cuts, and then put that savings directly into the pension system, but not until the 3%@50 scam was dismantled.

Oct. 11, 2010

Reply to #25 SP, I think you meant "the $200,000 COMPENSATION jig is up!" BTW: that is for each person receiving their HUGE pension...

Only a thousand times more important:-)

Oct. 11, 2010

@surfpuppy619: Look at your post #11. The bottom line you state, " . . . if you need more money cut the $200K+ comp packages of the PD and FD-since they are paid the most, by far." Hence, the $200k + . . . I think you use money terms so fluidly, you do not even realize your over and above exaggerations.

Honestly, my approach to all of this is focused primarily in Chula Vista. It appears you and Flounder look at things from a broader perspective and include San Diego in the mix with a lot of stuff. I don't want to see in my hometown of Chula Vista: 33 cops laid-off, an additional 40 some-odd other employees laid-off, the closure of the senior center, the closure of the Eastlake Library, the closure of the Parkway Community Center, Parkway Gymnasium, Parkway Pool, Loma Verde Rec Center, Otay Rec Center, & Salt Creek Rec Center. I don't want to see the elimination of the tree crew and the elimination of the graffiti removal crew. The list goes on and on. Now you and Flounder can continue to bash the city on poor choices in current and previous administrations, but these closures and job cuts are real to me to be concerned about my hometown.

Oct. 11, 2010

I don't want to see in my hometown of Chula Vista: 33 cops laid-off,

Then tell those cops to work for a a wage that is market.

And no one wants to see GED educated Chula Vista cops and FF's comping $200K per year, $250K with OT.

If they were paid a MARKET wage for their skilles and education their comp could be cut by 60% and then you could more than DOUBLE the PD/FD.

You're just a city employee or related to one with the same old raise taxes mantra-no one in the real world supprots these comp packages, or Prop H.

Oct. 11, 2010

@surfpuppy619: Look at your post #11. The bottom line you state, " . . . if you need more money cut the $200K+ comp packages of the PD and FD-since they are paid the most, by far." Hence, the $200k + . . . I think you use money terms so fluidly, you do not even realize your over and above exaggerations.

No I do not use money terms "fluidly".

I am stating what the total employee cost is to the taxpayer, and the total benefit is to the employee. And it is NOT just the $100K+ salary, they are getting another $100K+ in benefits-hence the $200K comp package.

Oct. 11, 2010

I am no fan of the Police's wages and compensation, nor am I fan that they are currently slated for an 8% cost of living increase starting January 1, but I am even more not a fan of laying off any cop. You can bash me all you want, but you have no proof what their pay is beyond their base salary, only speculation. Do you even live in Chula Vista? Everyone who lives here by now and pays attention knows about all the potential closings and cuts starting January 7.

Oct. 11, 2010

As the saying goes: "show me the money" or in this case "show me the link" that Chula Vista public safety employees make a total of $200k with compensation packages and all other employees make over $100k with compensation. I would speculate that the average City of Chula Vista employee makes somewhere around $85k average with all the compensation packages. Ultimately, from my point of view and your toothless arguments of $200k / $100k is "money talks and bull$hit walks."

Oct. 11, 2010

I'll even do you and Flounder a favor and provide you with a link the U/T did last summer (2009). All you need to do is search a particular job class or a person's name and it shows their salary range, but it does not include the compensation, your beloved subject. At least from there you can formulate their SDCERS payments and health benefits.

http://data.uniontrib.com/san-diego/payroll/

Oct. 11, 2010

Pancho buddy, stop drinking the kool-aid, Prop H, like Prop D, is DOA and their isn't a thing you can do about it.

Deal with it buddy, time for a compensation haircut!!!!!

Oct. 12, 2010

and where is your link about comp packages exceeding 200k?

Oct. 12, 2010

At HR, go see for yourself.

Oct. 12, 2010

Actually it is more like $250k-$300K when you add in OT, NOT $200K

Oct. 12, 2010

http://data.uniontrib.com/san-diego/payroll

"payroll" is NOT compensation. Do you not understand the difference???

Are you really dumber than a bag of rocks???????

Oct. 12, 2010

yes. money terms being used fluidly. once again. HR? I told you already, you can only request that info from the City Clerk's office for all Freedom of Information Act items. HR will ask where your court order is. Have you ever done a Freedom of Information Act request, or do you just blow hot air all the time.

BTW, you still haven't answered my question. Do you even live in Chula Vista? If not, you have no voice. Goodbye now.

Oct. 12, 2010

Once again, the term comp is not the same as salary.

Oct. 13, 2010

Being that you continue to refuse to answer my question:

Do you even live in Chula Vista?

I can only guess you live no where Chula Vista. So, you do not know what we are going through down here. If you did, I doubt you would so vociferous and lacking empathy with your arguments.

Oct. 15, 2010

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