City Council Gathers to Discuss Goals and Strategies

The Culver City Council gathered on Friday for a meeting focused on the City's goals and strategies to meet them.


February 22, 2024

The Special Strategic Planning Session discussion helped provide a framework for next year's City work plans, providing guidance to City staff on how to propose allocation of the resources available in the Culver City budget.

"This is a beautiful opportunity to think of ways we can engage and work together," said Mayor Yasmine-Imani McMorrin. "I hope we can lean into the opportunity for something new, something different, something that meets the moment."

The City Council reviewed goals and work plan strategies for 2024 to 2029. The list included nine goals:

• Ensure Long-term Financial Stability

• Enhance Mobility and Transportation

• Improve Housing and Homeless Services

• Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

• Improve and Maintain Public Infrastructure and Community Spaces

• Advance Environmental Sustainability and Climate Action

• Promote Public Safety

• Provide High Quality Public Services

• Increase Community Engagement

While Friday's meeting was a high-level look at the strategic goals, Council Members provided input that offered staff more insight when they begin work on their budget presentations.

"Hearing from City Council about their shared priorities is important at this point in the budget planning process," said Lisa Soghor, Culver City's Chief Financial Officer. "These priorities will inform staff as they program limited resources in department workplans and budgets for the next fiscal year."

For more than 90 minutes, City Council Members and City of Culver City Department leaders facilitated the study-session, highlighting what Council Members hear from community members.

"When speaking with the community, what really resonates with me is mobility, housing, public safety," said Council Member Albert Vera Jr. "I know we're working for a better, more sustainable, a brighter city."

"Our public spaces will need to be a big focus," said Vice Mayor Dan O'Brien. "We can get behind on that if we're not focused on that. There are costs we can mitigate in the future if we maintain what we have."

"For me, overall number one thing I think about is making diversity, equity, and inclusion. Whenever we make decisions, we need to include everyone," said Council Member Freddy Puza. Puza said the climate crisis and how it relates to City plans, as well as financial stability, should also be prioritized.

"I think that the comments we get from residents are very clear, we have to commit to what they want. They talk about public infrastructure, homeless issue, and public safety. All three of these things concern them greatly," said Council Member Goran Eriksson. He asked for housing and homeless services to be "sustained and refined" within the plans.

Also among the discussion points was the importance of maintaining a healthy business environment for the City's financial stability, future housing construction and identifying residential growth, budget flexibility as opposed to restricting funds, and long-term financial stability.

"First and foremost, what I saw was a lot of unity amongst the Council in terms of what they saw as important," said Drew Corbett, Principal of DKG Consultants, who moderated the session. "I saw a lot of commonalities amongst the goals that they've set out. I think the biggest takeaway was that they are not independent of one another. They all work together, the goals themselves. So, I think what came out of today, things were really crystalized through their discussion of weaving in some of the more intangible, harder-to-measure items into some of the more tangible, easier-to-measure priorities."

"As a community, there is a tremendous demand for City services and there are a lot diverse perspectives about how the City should spend its money," said Corbett. "Part of Council's job is to allocate the limited resources that are available, so this is part of this overall process to figure out how do we provide the best value, the best services to our community within our limited resources."

A mid-year budget presentation will be included at the City Council meeting on Monday, February 26th.


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