Tomorrow evening the City Council will determine whether to approve a $132,025 payment to the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG). The payment is to cover membership dues for the next three fiscal years. The breakout by year is $41,464 for 2017-18, $43,959 for 2018-19, and $46,603 for 2019-20.
The SBCCOG Board of Directors approved a 6% annual dues increase on June 22, 2017. The increased dues payments owed by the City of Torrance are reflective of that increase. The stated purpose of the dues increase is in order to grow the SBCCOG’s reserves.
The SBCCOG is a joint powers authority established in 1994 that comprises 16 local cities. The mission and vision of the SBCCOG is to improve the quality of life and maximize the productivity of the South Bay region through local government collaboration.
According to the staff report, the City of Torrance has been an active member of the SBCCOG and has taken a leadership role on regional issues such as improving transportation and infrastructure, sustainability, green environmental initiatives, homelessness and livable communities, legislative issues, as well as strengthening economic development.
The staff report did not list any specific initiatives or achievements that the City of Torrance was able to accomplish due to their involvement with the SBCCOG.
Kim Fuentes is the #2 ranking staff member of the SBCCOG currently serving as its Deputy Executive Director. Fuentes is a familiar face at City Hall due to a longstanding contract she holds with the City of Torrance providing Rideshare Consultant services. That contract pays her $65,000 a year for her part-time assistance. Torrance City Councilman Kurt Weideman also currently serves as Chair of the SBCCOG.
Should the City of Torrance not approve the membership dues payment, it would likely put Torrance’s membership in the organization at risk.