The San Juan Capistrano City Council and staff will once again discuss what’s on the horizon for next fiscal year’s impending city budget, including suggested revisions from councilmembers.
City leaders will discuss Tuesday, May 16, particulars for the 2023-24 Fiscal Year budget. While the overall budget is similar to plans originally proposed by staff—including $307,000 for a new downtown patrol deputy and a $7.2 million surplus—the updated version to be presented Tuesday includes new features councilmembers advocated for during the previous workshop held May 2.
Particularly, staff will discuss ways to incorporate enhancing trail signage and connectivity, sprucing up the back part of Historic Town Center Park, and increasing the annual funding or the Boys and Girls Club of Capistrano Valley, among other measures.
Exact funding numbers or mechanisms for those additions were not spelled out in an agenda report before Tuesday’s meeting.
Other existing plans covered under the budget and as suggested by staff include a $2 million upgrade for the San Juan Capistrano Sports Park, which would include new turf; $149,000 for a full-time community outreach worker for homeless people; and $3 million to “accelerate” the city’s long-term and wide-ranging street pavement rehabilitation project.
City staff has said the $7.2 million surplus is more a matter of the city having a “balanced budget” and may not be an ongoing occurrence.
The 2023-24 fiscal year budget is scheduled to be adopted on June 20.
Also on Tuesday’s agenda is an item from Mayor Howard Hart asking staff to provide a letter of support for resident Heather Chapman to serve as the District 5 representative on the Orange County Human Relations Commission, which encourages respect among OC citizens and recommends ways to stand against bigotry to the county.
Heather Chapman co-runs the community organization Unidos South OC with her husband, John Chapman, which advocates for underrepresented San Juan residents, including the town’s Hispanic population.
Chapman has also spoken about the need for affordable housing in the community.
Hart said she “has demonstrated her ability to identify and meet the needs of marginalized members of the community.”
“Ms. Chapman’s unique perspective and community-building expertise would be an asset to the Commission’s efforts,” Hart said.
If approved by the other councilmembers, the recommendation letter will then be sent to the county. The City Selection Committee will make a decision on who to appoint to fill the District 5 vacancy during a meeting on Thursday, May 18. As for the City Council, its Tuesday meeting is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. and will be held in the Nydegger Building at 31421 La Matanza Street. Members of the public can either attend in person or watch a live-streamed video of the meeting online at sanjuancapistrano.org.