The Malibu City Council on Monday voted to approve its 2024-2025 fiscal year budget. The city’s new fiscal year begins on July 1.

Currently, the city employs 119 full-time equivalent employees, and the proposed budget calls for adding four more full-time employees: a management analyst, a deputy city clerk, an administrative assistant, and a community development director. The city will also be hiring three part-time employees.

The General Fund is structurally balanced with ongoing revenues of $59.43 million exceeding ongoing expenditures of $58.94 million. The General Fund Undesignated Reserve on July 1, 2024, is estimated at $73.37 million, with a projected ending balance of $69.45 million on June 30, 2025.

In addition, $6.5 million in Fund Balance is designated for contingencies. The total projected General Fund balance (including Designated and Undesignated Reserves) on June 30, 2025, is $83.04 million.

The city’s major General Fund revenue sources are Property Tax, Transient Occupancy Tax, and Sales and Use Tax.

Property Taxes are budgeted at $19.5 million. Secured Property Taxes and Property Tax In-Lieu are displaying a growth of 5.5 percent over the FY 2023-24 Estimated to close amount. Historically, Malibu has averaged over six percent growth in property taxes year-over-year for the past 10 years.

The Transient Occupancy Tax is budgeted to remain flat from prior year actuals and current year estimated at $3.7 million. The City collects TOT from six hotel/motel properties and one RV Park. Malibu’s TOT rate is 15 percent.

Sales and Use Tax is budgeted at $8.9 million, a growth of $2.5 million over FY 2022-23 actuals and $500,000 over FY 2023-24 amended. The special revenue

Funds total $18.4 million. Of the more significant funds, gas tax revenue is budgeted at $307,000.

The city also plans to add nine highway speed cameras, costing $150,00 plus $50,000 for a consultant to help develop a plan and an impact report totaling $200,000.

“I would encourage the staff to pull the trigger as soon as they can. We’ve told the people up in Sacramento that every day there’s a delay it could cost somebody their life. So let’s get those cameras going,” said Mayor Pro Tem Doug Stewart.

Council members also went back and forth for a while over whether to add a community development director to the budget or whether to wait until the middle of the budget year. Councilmember Marianne Riggins expressed concern over the lack of details of the job description.

“The thing I find troubling about this community development was no job description included for the class in our booklet identifying the skills required, the education required, or anything else along those lines,” she said. “And I find that really troubling that you’re asking us to approve a position without giving us any specifications of what the duties and/or education is going to be for this.”

Assistant City Manager Joseph Toney explained the city will return at a later date with the job description and information on how they will add in other positions, but are requesting authorization now to add the position and funding to the budget.

Riggins encouraged other council members to delay creating the position due to having no information on what the position would entail.

“We have nothing but we’re being asked to authorize a position that we have no information on whatsoever,” she said.

Councilmember Bruce Silverstein disagreed and explained that before the money can be formally spent and before this position can be filled, the city staff would already be required to return with a job description to be approved.

“I think it’s pretty obvious from everything we’ve just heard this is a budget decision tonight, and I think it’s ironic that out of the $90 million budget, this is what we’re spending all of our time discussing,” said Councilmember Silverstein.

He added, “This should have been approved without even thinking about it.”

Mayor Steve Uhring agreed with Councilmember Silverstein on adding the staff position to the budget.

“It is the manager’s job to recruit and retain people, that’s what they’re supposed to do, alright? We’re not doing that. I do think this extra position will help us accomplish that. So I’m in favor of it,” said Uhring.

Capital Expenditures

The FY 2024-25 Budget also includes expenditures to address the ongoing operational costs spanning multiple departments to address recovery and rebuilding efforts as a result of the Woolsey Fire.

These costs include various professional services, including contract planners, inspectors, plan checking, and other services. The budget includes $4.9 million in expenditures for any additional rebuild expenses. The council extended the rebuild deadline for applications to November 8, 2024.

Some of the proposed capital improvement projects for the coming year are:

  • Clover Heights Storm Drain Improvements, budgeted at $2,150,603.
  • Latigo Canyon Road and Retaining Wall – $900,000
  • Trancas Canyon Park Improvements $1,089,001
  • Westward Beach Road Shoulder Repairs $774,403

Additionally, the city plans to complete five more projects:

  • PCH Signal Synchronization System $8,600,000
  • City Hall Solar Power Project $3,800,000
  • Permanent Skate Park $2,500,000
  • Citywide Asphalt Concrete Berms Repairs $300,000
  • Bluffs and Equestrian Park Roof Replacement $400,000

In the end, councilmembers voted 3-2 to pass the budget with a supplemental motion reading, “An allocation for a community services director not to be spent unless and until a plan is brought forth for the reorganization of the department and the creation of the position has been approved by the council, and the position not be authorized until it has been brought forth and approved by the city council.”

The supplemental motion was opposed by Silverstein and Uhring.

Photo by lucky-photographer on

west los angeles news
west los angeles news
Stay informed. Sign up for The Westside Voice Newsletter

By clicking submit, you agree to share your email address with Westside Voice. We do not sell or share your information with anyone.