HERMOSA BEACH — After nearly two hours of reviewing Police Department revenue that is far less than projected for the first quarter of fiscal 1985-86, the City Council on Tuesday voted for several cost-cutting measures, including the elimination of three vacant police officer positions.
The council voted 3 to 1 to eliminate the three positions--which have been vacant since the summer--for an estimated saving of $112,500. Mayor Jack Wood opposed the action, saying he preferred to increase the number of officers in the hope that they would write more tickets and bring in additional revenue. Councilman Gary Brutsch was absent from Tuesday's meeting.
The decision leaves the city with 34 sworn police officers.
Police Chief Frank Beeson acknowledged that the Police Department's revenue estimate of $702,857--submitted during the city's annual budget review last June--was "overprojected." Revenue for the fiscal year now is expected to total $278,131.
Beeson said the biggest problem is a severe shortfall in collected fines for traffic citations. Of a projected yearly total of $452,052, only $23,888 has been collected since the fiscal year started July 1. Beeson later said part of the shortfall could be traced to new county and state processing fees. In addition, he said, he believes officers are writing fewer tickets.