By Neena Strichart
Tuesday night’s Signal Hill city council meeting was finance director Dennis McArthur’s final public appearance before his retirement at the end of the month. Calling it his “swan song,” McArthur presented his preliminary year-end financial and carryover report for fiscal year 2006-2007 which included in city manager Ken Farfsing’s words “good news, but also some cautions.” [More on McArthur’s retirement will appear in next week’s issue.]
As for the good news, it was explained that revenues for the city have been up, while expenditures have fallen under the projected totals—meaning the city has ended the year in a strong financial position. Higher than expected revenues were attributed to Signal Hill’s Circuit City and Best Buy stores bringing in sales tax of four percent over what the city projected.
On a cautionary note, McArthur said, “Looking forward in a crystal ball, the biggest danger to the city is the state,” referring to the state’s borrowing of local property taxes under proposition 1A.
Other business included the adoption of an ordinance increasing city council member’s compensation by $82.40 per month. The increase will take effect in April 2009.
Speaking against the increase during the public hearing, Edward Villanueva (former city council candidate) read a letter co-written by Harlan Idel asking for “justifications to increase city of Signal Hill council salaries.”
One of the duo’s concerns is the use of an average of council salaries from 13 surrounding cities including Lakewood and Long Beach. “These are much larger cities and in our opinion should not be included,” read Villanueva.
The next meeting of the Signal Hill city council will take place at 7 p.m., Jan. 8, 2008, at city hall, located at 2175 Cherry Avenue.