City Manager Doug Chotkevys was the guest speaker at the Dana Point Civic Association’s monthly Coffee Chat, at Coffee Importers on June 19.
He discussed the city’s recently approved two-year budget and took questions from the audience.
The new budget is focused on preserving the quality of life for residents while building up city reserves via a strategy of “budgeting aggressively while estimating revenues conservatively,” he said. “We have an operating surplus and we’re maintaining a level of service.”
When asked about the “tremendous outlay of cash for Town Center,” Chotkevys said he and staff are following City Council’s direction.
“The council chose to spend $20 … and I am taking their direction,” he said. “We no longer have the reserves we once had but we are building it back up.”
When asked about when residents can we expect to see some return from the money spent, Chotkevys said, “Immediately,” noting the handful of Lantern District projects in the works. “Tavern on the Coast is generating tax revenue … BevMo! will generate revenue … Town Center is in process, being delivered on time and under budget, and it looks fabulous,” he said.
On concerns with crime in Doheny Village and other areas of the city, he said, “We believe we have the right amount of resources in the police service, but we need your help.”
Chotkevys told the audience if they see something is “not right,” that, depending on the issue, he is counting on residents to tell him, city staff or the police department in a timely fashion. He cited a common occurrence of residents approaching him long after issues of concern have occurred.
“Residents should not hesitate to let us know about concerns because they think we are too busy,” Chotkevys said.