I managed to stay awake past 1 a.m. the other morning to watch the City Council pass a balanced budget on time — something they can never seem to do in Sacramento.
Congratulations to the council for passing a budget that addresses a long-term plan for our city. Special thanks goes to City Manager/CEO Tom Hatch and his budget team for making some critical personnel changes and cuts to address the current economic climate we are in.
I don't know Hatch, but I have become a big fan.
Some of the things that stand out to me in this budget: The city was able to enter a deal with the city of Huntington Beach to keep helicopter patrol service. My friends and neighbors all agree that the helicopter is vital to the overall safety of our city, but the previous ABLE helicopter program was a significant drain of money. We simply couldn't afford ABLE anymore. We're all glad that we will still have a helicopter in Costa Mesa under this new and more affordable plan. If it is successful, I hope we will see additional flight time added for our city.