Today’s regularly scheduled Santa Barbara City Council meeting has been canceled, but that doesn’t mean all council members will have the day off.
The scheduled noon Finance Committee meeting will still be held.
“We are agendized to make formal recommendations to the full council in regards to the proposed fee changes proposed by staff,” Finance Committee Chair Eric Friedman said.
“We finalize tomorrow,” he told the News-Press Monday. “We don’t present them to council. Staff includes the Finance recs (recommendations) as part of their final budget presentation to council.”
That is scheduled for the council’s next regular meeting on May 23.
The recommendations will include a proposed Cost Recovery and Fee Policy aimed at saving the city money by charging fees to individuals who benefit from city services that are provided to them exclusively.
“Overall, the policy is a guide and can be used to help determine the level of subsidy for a specific purpose,” Councilmember Friedman said. “While ideally cost recovery would be captured, in many cases there are reasons that full cost recovery may not be feasible or a desired policy goal.
“There are some services the city provides that benefit a specific individual, some that are a broad public benefit and others that have some public benefits as well as individual benefits,” he said “This would be a tool that helps categorize fees and assist in determining the level of cost recovery.
“For example, public safety services, such as police and fire are services that benefit the entire city, so charging a full cost fee for use of service would not be good policy. On the other hand, getting a permit to remodel a kitchen is an individual benefit.
“When setting fees to determine the amount of cost recovery and subsidy, it is important to consider the level of individual vs community-wide benefit.”