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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 7:27 pm | Fair 54º


Lompoc Again Extends Its Deadline For Adopting Budget

The Lompoc City Council on Tuesday night granted itself another 30 days to adopt a budget, pushing the deadline to Sept. 30.

Council members also scheduled a special meeting for Aug. 22 to consider the 2017-2019 biennial budget.

Before the fiscal year began July 1, the council gave itself a 2-month extension to Aug. 31 for adopting the spending blueprint.

Until a new budget is adopted, the city continues to operate under the 2016-2017 budget with some changes. 

In the spring, city staff presented a draft budget calling for cuts to expenses and suggesting the council ask voters to approve three tax measures in 2018.

But the council majority of Jim Mosby, Dirk Starbuck and Victor Vega balked at many aspects in the draft budget, leading to delays and requests for additional information.

Assorted versions of the budget slashed funding for school crossing guards, organizations such as the Lompoc Chamber of Commerce and Lompoc Museum, and community events including the Lompoc Valley Flower Festival. 

City staff has said an unfunded liability from the California Public Employees Retirement System accounts for the financial woes, pointing out other cities are wrestling with the same issue.

Mosby has monopolized discussions, leading to harsh exchanges between him and staff during several meetings, including presenting a 12-point plan, looking at cutting some new positions, while attempting to solve the financial woes.

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.

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