SBCCOG Takes a Bite Out of Torrance Budget

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.


  • I think it’s time to have a more in depth discussion about whether Torrance’s continued involvement with the SBCCOG is worth the amount of money we are forced to pay. What value is our membership with the SBCCOG bringing to the citizens of Torrance? Shouldn’t we be more worried about replenishing our own reserves before making sure the SBCCOG’s coffers are full?

  • Guest

    We really don’t need to spend out money in this socialist entity that would like to see everyone bike or take the bus to work, nice idea but we are a long ways to it. Hawthorne Blvd is full of pot holes.

  • That money should be better spent on pot holes, sidewalks, and expanding kids programs. I would vote NO, and while you are at it, pull out of SCAG as well.

  • Jeff Oatridge

    Clint, do you know if SBCCOG is associated with a larger organization? What’s the purpose the organization and why does it cost so much?

  • Sandra Goetz

    SCAG is over them maybe?

  • Linda Gottshall-Sayed

    I am a little late to this “party” but I saw this story and feel compelled to contribute my thoughts. This is a tough one … mostly because I see this as a “clique” of cities …. linked by geography (and in this grouping we are the largest). I think we need more information. Why do the “dues” cost so much and what does it cover? I mean … what exactly does it pay for? A breakdown of that information would be helpful. These vague goals like “improving the quality of the life” and improving the productivity (of Southbay) residents doesn’t justify $40-50K/year when NOTHING is specifically mentioned as having been done toward these goals. This is a bunch of hooey right now … a better report MUST be forthcoming. And if there isn’t anything tangible that can be shown for our money, have the report SAY SO!!!!!!!! It really isn’t that hard to be forthright. Just tell the truth and let people take their positions.

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