MALIBU—On June 8, the Malibu City Council meeting suggested that the city could face a $5 million budget deficit around this time next year.

Since March 2020, the world has been overtaken by the coronavirus pandemic. This resulted in shutdowns all across the world.

As of today, there are 139,281 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state of California. There have been 4,881 deaths within the state.

This is considered peak season for the city of Malibu and usually there are a lot of tourists in the city. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, travel and businesses opening has been limited. This is due to the social distancing guidelines set by the state.

Lisa Soghor, Assistant City Manager, stated that the budget for the city of Malibu was balanced at this time. This balance is because of the payout of a settlement in Southern California over the Woosley fire that happened in 2018. According to the reports from the meeting, that payout helped to compensate the budget for the 2020-2021 year to be a $13 million gap rather than a multi-million dollar gap.

The council spoke about defunding the police department. The police department makes up 20% of the city’s budget. However, many members of the council felt that this was not the time to cut from the police budget.

Some options to cut budget costs released from the meeting are as followed: developing a retirement program, reducing community service programs, reducing sustainability programs, eliminating or reducing programs like community outreach, LA Sheriff’s contract and homeless outreach services.

The final budget hearing will be held virtually on June 22.