Alhambra City Council voted unanimously on Monday night to allocate $1,415,510 in unused funds to the Special Economic Development – Jobs Creation program, which aims to assist businesses and developers by creating more jobs in existing commercial establishments.
Resident Eric Sunada expressed his disagreement on the matter during a public hearing before the vote, claiming that the funds could be put to better use if allocated to other services, such as those for at-risk youth. "I understand we need the tax revenue, but it needs to be more balanced," he said during the public hearing. "The youth services budget was going directly to help at-risk youth, and that got axed, yet you’re going to add $1.4 million to essentially subsidize retail. That doesn’t seem appropriate to me."
City officials responded that the youth program still exists and has been picked up by Alhambra's general funds. They also stated that federal guidelines allow only 15 percent of reallocated funds to go toward such services, which the City has already met. "We follow federal guidelines very strictly, and it's not in our purview to change them around," Mayor Barbara Messina said. "If we're guilty of anything, it's following the law completely."
Not able to attend the last meeting? You can watch it in its entirety here. Skip to 2:50 for the full public hearing.
City Council meets every second and fourth Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in City Hall: 111 South First Street, Alhambra, 91801. The next meeting will be held on Monday, October 22.