In 2018, residents were informed by the City that Pacific Palisades, as part of a pilot program, would receive a portion of the town’s parking meter revenue to spend on various street beautification efforts in the business district.
The money supposedly was set aside in 2018 and 2019, but was never distributed. The City said a “staffing issue” caused the delay.
Early this year, the Pacific Palisades Community Council reached out to the City about the funding and reported after its February 27 meeting: “We received a message from CD11 Transportation Deputy Eric Bruins on February 20, giving an update on the Parking Meter Revenue Local Return Pilot Program.
“The Secretary explained that under this program, fifteen percent (15%) of all meter revenues in the BID area (the central commercial district of the Palisades), or around $65,000 annually, will be earmarked and the BID will be in charge of outreach to the community for input on streetscape improvements.” (Visit: pacpalicc.org to see the minutes and to read the entire message from Bruins.)
Circling the News reached out to Bruins’ office three times this past month to find out the status of the money that had been allocated but not yet delivered.
As reported in a September 15 CTN story, Mayor Eric Garcetti’s representative Kevin Taylor said the program had to be terminated because of the City’s financial crisis.
CTN again reached out to Bruins and noted that although the pilot program has been cancelled, what what about the money that was already appropriated?
Bruins responded by email on September 16: “In previous fiscal years, funding was appropriated for the program, but not expended (in plain English: set aside). Under normal circumstances, that funding would be available for expenditure now. However, the revenue shortage is so severe right now that prior appropriations are being deferred or cancelled in order to meet the current year’s financial obligations. As Kevin said in his email, this fiscal year is the worst since at least the 2008 recession. Some would argue it’s even worse than that. All of the cash balance in the SPRF is being used to meet current obligations.”
CTN responded, “I’m a little confused. The money was never set aside, although the Pacific Palisades community was told that it was?”
Bruins clarified, “Unfortunately, the CAO’s office confirmed to me that the prior appropriations for this program are no longer available as there is not enough revenue coming into the fund to support them. It is a rare circumstance to rescind a prior appropriation, but these are unprecedented times. I can’t express how disappointed I am personally and on behalf of our office that this program was unable to get up off the ground.”
CTN thanked him for the response. Apparently, even though Bonin’s office said the money was set aside—it never was.