Saturday, July 21 , 2018, 2:47 pm | A Few Clouds 72º


Local News

Grand Jury Report Finds Guadalupe Financial Status Sees Modest Improvement

The city of Guadalupe has seen a modest improvement to its financial woes, but still struggles, the Santa Barbara County Civil Grand Jury said in a report released Monday.

In the report, “Guadalupe Fiscal Reform,” the panel provided an assessment of the small city’s financial health, as a follow-up to earlier reviews.

“The Jury found that Guadalupe’s fiscal performance has improved modestly,” the report said. 

The watchdog agency noted several previous grand juries had examined deficiencies in the city’s fiscal management, and said the new report was an updated analysis. 

“Guadalupe does not generate enough General Fund revenue from the sources on which most cities rely (property, sales and transient occupancy taxes) to provide basic administrative and safety services while maintaining a positive General Fund balance,” the panel noted in one finding.

In response to its fiscal woes, the City Council asked voters in November 2014 to approve three tax measures to generate revenue, with each one easily passing.

Members of the 2017-2018 grand jury found the three measures did have a positive impact on revenue in Guadalupe, crediting them with helping increase per-capita revenue from $457 in 2014-15, to $480 in 2015-16, to $525 in 2016-17, and to a projected value of $573 in 2017-18, the report said.

Grand jurors noted that an independent auditor had questioned in March 2018 whether gas tax funds were being used inappropriately, which prompted the panel to express concern about whether the city “may have used restricted monies from Measure A and Gas Tax funds to finance its General Fund and other fund deficits.”

The panel recommended that the City Council of Guadalupe analyze the Measure A, Gas Tax, and Enterprise Funds to determine if those accounts were used to loan monies outside the cost allocation plans for 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Those loans allegedly went to the General Fund, Library Fund, Wastewater Treatment Fund and Solid Waste fund, the panel said. 

Once those amounts are determined, grand jurors said called upon the City Council to pass a resolution and a repayment plan regarding any questioned funds.

The Guadalupe City Council has 90 days to respond to the report.

Click here to read the full Santa Barbara County Civl Grand Jury report. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >