Half of West Hollywood’s spending is for policing, social services and transit, facilities maintenance, parking, streets and sanitation, and economic development. That’s according to a new analysis by WeHo by the Numbers. The analysis used detailed budget numbers for the current fiscal year (FY2016) from the city’s open data portal. The next fiscal year, FY2017, begins on July 1. The new budget will soon be released for public comment and City Council approval.’
WeHo by the Numbers reports that the proposed budget for the current year was $113 million, excluding $10 million of transfers among city funds. It included $107 million to spend on operations and $6 million for capital projects, such as the soon-to-be-installed bike-share system. When converted to dollars per resident, the budget was a little over $3,100 per resident for all city services and capital projects.
Of that $3,100 per resident, almost half — over $1,400 — was budgeted for contracted services. The contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was the biggest. It cost about $500 per resident. The rest of the $3,100 was for city employee pay (over $900 per resident), interest and principal on the city’s debt (less than $400), other operating costs (over $200), and capital projects (less than $200).
The analysis also looked at spending by division. The city staff is organized into divisions. Each division is responsible for delivering particular services, either to the public (e.g., parking) or to other divisions (e.g., human resources). The distribution of spending among divisions gives a more detailed picture of how the city is spending its money. For this analysis, all spending counted, regardless of funding source, except for internal transfers and payments on the city’s debt.
The divisions were ranked by spending. The Police/Protective Services division came first, at almost $500 per resident. Most of that money was for the contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The second division was Social Services, at a cost of $250 per resident. The Social Services division includes the city’s transit services. Several of those services are focused on seniors and the disabled.
The next divisions on the list were Facilities & Landscaping (about $225 per resident), Parking (over $200), City Engineering (also over $200) and Economic Development (about $200). The Parking division is responsible for city parking lots and garages, meters, parking permits, parking enforcement and taxi licensing. The city engineer’s responsibilities include streets, sewers and sanitation. The Economic Development division manages the Visit West Hollywood tourism contract, among other efforts. Together, these six divisions represented half of the $3,100 in spending per resident.