By Michael Hernandez
THOUSAND OAKS—The City Council was presented with a $214 million Operating and Capital Improvement Program budget for 2019-20 by Finance Director Jaime Boscarino at its June 11th meeting. The budget increases by more than seven million for the following fiscal year.
Current revenues for the 2019-20 budget are $186 million and for 2020-21 are $190 million. Transfers from other funds are just over $5 million each year with the reserve account adding more than $22 million for 2019-20 and almost $25 million the following fiscal year.
Key operating expenses include: more than $57 million for salaries and fringe benefits for the next fiscal year and more than $60 million for salaries and fringe benefits the following fiscal year. Other key operating requirements include: more than $31 million (upcoming fiscal year) and $33 million (next fiscal year) for police contract services; more than $31 million (current fiscal year) and $32 million (next fiscal year) for professional/contractual services; more than $23 million (upcoming fiscal year) and $24 million (next fiscal year) for utilities; and more than $10 million for supplies and equipment (both fiscal years).
The four leargest operating budget categories in last year’s fiscal budget (2018-2019) were as follows: the general fund (43.9 percent); water fund (14.2 percent); the wastewater fund (12.7 percent), and the transportation fund (6.6 percent). These five funds comprised 77.4 percent of total funds.
The City of Thousand Oaks uses a Financial Strategic Plan (FSP) and a Fiscal Sustainability Study (FSS). On May 9, 2017 the City Council adopted 10 broad Citywide Goals and Citywide Top Ten Priorities for establishing the adopted 2017-18 and 2018-19 operating budgets. Thousand Oaks is one of a few municipalities in California to promote additional financial transparency through its City Council Finance/Audit Committee and provides a forum for open communication between the City’s external auditors and the City Council.
During a three-month period (February-April 2017), city staff discussed with residents what their priorities were and the City’s website had 10 service areas for the community to select whether or not to increase, decrease, or maintain the amount of budget earmarked for each service. Over 4,000 people visited the City’s budget web page, over 1,200 people learned about the City’s budget and budget process and over 600 residents shared their priorities and comments via an on-line budget simulation tool.
The public can view the complete four hundred plus page fiscal year budget by going to: www.toaks.org/peratingCIP19-21 or by visiting the City website at: https://www.toaoks.org/departments/finance/budget-information/operating-budget.
City Council Special Presentation:
–Mayor Rob McCoy made a special presentation to both Len Zerlin and Harry Norkin as Thousand Oaks acknowledged the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. More on Len Zerlin’s story will soon be posted on the City website at TOTalks:
https://www.toaks.org/departments/city-manager-s-office/public-information-office/totalks. Currently, Mayor Rob and Thousand Oaks TV have created eight Thousand Oaks Talks that have been posted.
–Thousand Oaks will feature seven pop-up events over three June weekends:
- Versa Style Dance Company (Friday, June 14 at 7 p.m. Oakbrook Park);
- Movie Night-Sing (Saturday, June 15 at 7 p.m. Triunfo Park);
- Pop Rock Concert Sir, Please with special guests (Friday, June 21 at 7 p.m. Thousand Oaks Community Park);
- Suzie Glaze & The New Folk Ensemble & Teresa James & The Rhythm Tramps (Saturday, June 22 at 7 p.m. Stagecoach Museum Lawn);
- Let Your Creativity Take Flight: Build and Fly Kites with Art Trek (Sunday, June 23 from 2-4 p.m. at Borchard Community Park);
- An Evening with Sondheim with 5-Star Theatricals (Friday June 28 at 7 p.m. The Lakes at Thousand Oaks);
- New West Symphony Presents Leah Zeger Quintet (Saturday, June 29 at 7 p.m. Northwood Park).
Other Thousand Oaks Event News:
–Titanic Live film will be featured Saturday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the William Rolland Stadium at California Lutheran University. Festival doors open at 5 p.m. Presented by New West Symphony’s 130 piece orchestra plus singers will perform the Titanic score while complete film (3 horus, 22 minutes with intermission) is projected on a vast LED screen built especially for this event in partnership with California State University Northridge. General Admission lawn tickets tickets start at $25 and go up to $59. Reserved tickets can be purchased at $120 or $175. See link at: https://newwestsymphony.org/home/titanic-live/.
Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service, founder of History Makers International—a community nonprofit serving youth and families in Ventura County, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor. He has worked 25 years as a middle school teacher. Mr. Hernandez can be contacted by email at [email protected].