Finance Commission: FY 2021-23 Budget Presentations

The Finance Commission met on Monday, April 5th, 2021, and discussed the following agenda items:


Faruk Bhagani (Appointed by Farrah Khan)
Mike Genest (Appointed by Mike Carroll)
Lauren Johnson-Norris (Appointed by Larry Agran)
John Park (Appointed by Anthony Kuo)
Magi Yang (Appointed by Tammy Kim)


  •  Acceptance of Minutes. Motion by Bhagani, seconded by Genest 

Acceptance Of 2020 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant

  • Passes 5-0

Fiscal Year 2021-23 Budget Presentations

  • City Clerk 
    • Key Accomplishments
      • General Municipal Election 
      • 2020 Census
      • Public Participation – Meetings
      • OnBase Functionality
      • Record Retention Schedule
      • Forms Digitization
    • Bhaghani asks about the uptick in duplicating/copying costs. 
      • Clerk’s office had over-reduced the costs during the previous 5 year cycle and are adjusting it appropriately
    • Yang asks for clarification on city attorney services.
      • It is currently $115,000 for city attorney services, changing to $100,000
  • Financial Management and Strategic Planning
    • Key Accomplishments
      • Implementation of cloud-based budget system
      • Design and implementation of contract lifecycle management software
      • Transition to an online platform for procurement
    • Adding 3 positions to maintain level of services
      • Management Analyst 1, Senior Buyer and a Program Assistant
  • Human Resources and Information Technology
    • Key Accomplishments (HR)
      • Telecommuting Work Plan
      • COVID-19 Employee Safety Protocols
      • Virtual Recruitment & Onboarding Process
      • TalkSpace – 24/7 Mental Health Benefit
    • Key Accomplishments (STP)
      • Digital Working Environments Supported by E-Forms and Signatures
      • Extended Services to Online Offerings
      • Virtual City Council and Public Engagement
      • Interactive GIS Mapping Services
    • Bhaghani has questions on the head count.
      • Currently as listed, head count will be static over the next 5 years. There will be an emphasis of digitization in the future, how will you get service increase while maintaining head count?
        • City responds. We will look to see if we will need personnel. Next couple months will be evaluating IT, so the number can change.
        • Without assessment, number could stay the same.
    • Yang wants clarification on body cam, is that under STP or under public safety.
      • Huge portion of that is under STP. These kinds of projects are funded in a large part by STP.
    • Park has questions. Will Telecommuting be part of the permanent plan and if so, will budget affected positively or negatively
      • We foresee adjusted telecommuting in the future, but for cost, don’t know at the moment. 
  • Public Safety
    • Key Accomplishments
      • Safest City Recognition 15 years in a row
      • Community Outreach and Engagement
      • Demonstrated professionalism and compassion during recent social unrest
      • Effective emergency management preparation and response
      • Technologies designed to enhance service while promoting efficiency, transparency and accountability
    • Noteworthy
  • And increase in total staffing over the next 5 years from 197.32 to 202.50 to 208.94 to 215.90 to 219.38
  • In Key Balancing Measures, a Reduction of 1.9 Million in Overtime
  • An establishment of a Hate Crime Portal for resources and reporting. 
  • Yang asks about the Hate Crime Portal. How much of the budget is dedicated for this, who works this? What about languages? Pre-recorded dialog?
    • In essence, our entire budget goes to this because all our officers are trained for this. All our resources go to this.
    • However specifically for the budget, it comes from the Investigations Bureau. We will diligently investigate crimes with the full resources of the department.
    • We train our people, there are training and technology costs. 
  • Bhagnai asks about overtime. How do you reduce overtime? What was happening in the past?
    • Look at this and will more carefully handle level 0 and 1 calls. With the addition of officers, will help reduce overtime. 
  • Johnson-Norris asks about overtime. Asks why not add more officers to alleviate pressure? There is a standard ratio of 1,000 citizens to 1 police officer in other cities.
    • That current ratio in Irvine is 0.85 police officers to 1000 citizens.  We have tried to keep it as our mark.  (maybe follow up with Sergeant Hutchcraft what that ratio number is)
    • More officers will help reduce overtime, but it’s the unplanned overtime that is the problem
    • If we can meet our current ratio we can help reduce the Overtime. 
  • Genest is looking at Budget (Page 226 of the Budget)
  • The current budget is 49, going down to 47, how are you adding more people?
    • Hong replies that the salaries and benefits are increasing for the new hires but due to overtime savings, they can lower the budget.
    • Hong doesn’t have answer at the time and will need to dive into the numbers
    • Arenado chimes in. a lot of that is the benefits portions of the salaries, there was a large decrease in pension costs 
  • Park wants to add that we aren’t talking about additional funds coming into the city
    • That won’t be brought in until the 27th
  • What is each department doing with the funds?
    • Each department is looking at the fund and will be looking at their requests and that will be going to council on the 27th
  • Park notes that maybe some of this belt tightening can be alleviated with these funds
    • Marysheva pipes in, that these funds are one times fund and should not be used for 5 year budget planning
    • Use this fund for revenue loss, but some cities are using these funds for infrastructure, water waste, broadband. Undetermined with Irvine.
  • Orange County Great Park
    • Key Accomplishments
      • With over $100 million in approved Capital projects, since 2016, advanced several key initiatives, including Great Park shade, concessions, the Visitor Center Plaza refurbishment, and Cultural Terrace Parking Lot
      • Successfully transitioned from active park operations to a community hub at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic
    • No Questions from Committee

Meeting Adjourned at 6:32pm.