Police, past mayors speak to council

Seal Beach Police officers show their support for Acting Chief Joe Miller and City Manager Jill Ingram. Photo by Ellery Deaton

Monday night’s City Council meeting had two dramatic presentations: the first, a showing of 20-plus uniformed officers of the Seal Beach Police Department who stood at the podium and expressed support for the city, the department, its interim chief, and City Manager jill Ingram. The second presentation consisted of five past Seal Beach mayors who gave a letter to the council signed by themselves and a sixth former mayor (who was out of town) asking for Ingram’s resignation.

The meatiest presentation of the evening — the review of the city’s mid-year budget — concerned Seal Beach’s $30 million budget and Finance Director Victoria Beatley concluded that financially, Seal Beach is in “great shape.”

Beatley explained to the council – and residents in attendance – that a mid fiscal year budget doesn’t always reflect what final numbers will be since much reporting is done quarterly.

One area, property tax revenues, is easily misunderstood because while the median home price in Seal Beach is $986,250, the city does not receive all of the property tax revenue. In fact, only about 15 or 16 cents of each dollar from property tax revenue actually comes into the city coffers.

Most budget categories were in line with Beatley’s expectations. The Police Department has already exceeded its budget for overtime, and events like Friday’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities are sure to bring overtime to the department. Interim Police Chief Joe Miller said one reason for the spike in overtime was due to the being down almost four positions, as well as retirement payouts.

Budget modifications were made as well because not every event is planned and anticipated. The floods earlier this year resulted in a $200,000 expenditure to fix the West End Pump Station, and $15,000 for pump rentals.

Resident Robert Goldberg found a mathematical error in the budget and brought up some areas where he said the data didn’t match the figures given. However, the budget review was preliminary and details were not available for all categories.

Also on the council agenda was an item dealing with sex offender residency restrictions. Many of the restrictions have been overturned in the courts and the city was advised to repeal that ordinance to avoid lawsuits.

On Tuesday Ingram said her only comment on the statements by the five former mayors was that she “respects and supports the public forum portion of the City Council meetings” and declined further comment because their remarks were specifically to the members of the City Council.

When asked to comment on the police presentation, Ingram said, “I was gratified by the unified Police Department presence and could not be more proud of the men and women of the Seal Beach Police Department.”

Police, past mayors speak to council