Page 8 July 30, 2020 EL SEGUNDO HERALD
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Council’s Priorities from page 3
The other four guiding principles for the
current council are:
• S u p p o r t c o m m u n i t y s a f e t y a n d
preparedness, including preparing a report
about the city’s COVID-19 and response to
civil unrest in the county;
• Develop El Segundo as a choice employer
• Develop and maintain quality infrastructure
• Champion economic development and
Back-to-back public emergencies for
COVID-19 and civil unrest have tested
the city’s incident response team and the
employees, City Manager Mitnick, told the
council. After the COVID-19 emergency is
over and life begins to return to normal, El
Segundo will do a full evaluation of how it
responded to these “once-in-a-lifetime events”
for any city, according to Mitnick.
“Usually, emergencies last a day, a few days
or weeks. Not five, seven or nine months,”
The fallout from the COVID-19 shutdown
includes loss of local jobs, closures of
businesses, and a need for El Segundo to
tighten its belt in the next budget cycle, it
was revealed. Despite losing $10 million in
anticipated revenues since mid-March, El
Segundo’s economy started to rebound before
Gov. Gavin Newsom halted the reopening of
the Los Angeles County economy. Revenues
picked up by almost $1 million in a single
month before the governor abruptly ordered
restaurant dining rooms, gyms and nail salons
to close again. They have since been allowed
to reopen outdoors only.
On Aug. 5, the City Council will hold a
budget study session open to the public. With
next year’s priorities set, the five members
have tough decisions about funding city
services, staffing levels, recreation programs
and capital improvement projects, including
the Teen Center. The city manager said he’s
“still cautiously optimistic” about a rebound
in 2021 and believes El Segundo will come
out of the pandemic slowdown in better shape
than many of its neighbors.
Finance Director Joe Lillio previewed
the challenges the council must address
to draft a spending plan for the 2020-21
fiscal year. (The next fiscal year will last
nine months and the 2021-22 fiscal year
will begin three months earlier, on July 1.)
Lillio anticipates El Segundo’s expenditures
could exceed the revenues and collected
taxes by $1.5 million, though it’s possible
the economy could rebound and make up
including a new business campus at the
former Boeing site along Pacific Coast
Highway, are moving in the plan-approval
stages. This signals that El Segundo remains
an attractive city for companies looking to
relocate or expand their operations. Mayor
Drew Boyles wants El Segundo ready to
promote the advantages of doing business
in the city once the brakes come off the
economy. The city’s main competitors will
be Playa del Rey and Culver City, he said.
The City Council recently approved a rebate
program that refunds the cost of an annual
business license if a company decides to
leave the city within one year. •
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