AI Could Help Fill Unfunded City Jobs: Hermosa Beach Council

JJohn July 31, 2023 12:56 AM

The 2023-24 city budget of $50 million, with half allocated for public safety, has been approved by the Hermosa Beach city council. A suggestion has been made to use artificial intelligence (AI) to manage unfunded staff positions, amidst discussions of economic uncertainty and looming deficits.

Approval and allocation of $50 million budget

The Hermosa Beach city council has given the green light to a $50 million budget for 2023-24, with a significant portion being directed towards public safety. According to City Finance Director Viki Copeland, taxes will be making up around 74% of the general fund revenue. In addition, a considerable surplus of $3.8 million from the previous fiscal year has been added to their contingency fund.

The city's financial predictions point towards a possible issue in the future. Starting from 2028-2029, expenditures are expected to surpass income. A part of the budget has been earmarked for the renovation of the city's facilities, which are reportedly deficient in space. However, this looming deficit gives the council ample time to strategize and adjust their financial plans.

AI proposed for unfunded staff positions

With 15 city staff positions left unfunded, Councilmember Justin Massey has proposed an innovative solution - the use of artificial intelligence (AI). According to Massey, it's important to demonstrate that the city is leveraging technology and efficiency before adding more staff. AI, he said, could be instrumental in filling these positions as technology continues to advance.

Mayor Raymond Jackson has put forth a few solutions to address the financial challenges ahead. One such suggestion involves sharing staff resources with neighboring cities. Additionally, the Mayor has mentioned the possibility of placing another tax measure on the November 2024 ballot. These efforts, along with other initiatives like auditing the transient occupancy tax and reviewing parking fines, could help increase the city's revenue.

Major budget allocation to public safety

A considerable chunk of the approved budget is being allocated for public safety. Of the total $50 million, about $28.4 million will be earmarked for this purpose. The police department, specifically, will receive a significant portion of around $16.7 million. This provision also includes the purchase of two new vehicles for the police department.

More articles

Also read

Here are some interesting articles on other sites from our network.