Buffy Bullis is the administrative services director for the City of Monrovia, California.
In September 2020, the San Gabriel Mountains experienced a fire that grew to over 116,000 acres, including 278 acres of the Monrovia Wilderness Preserve and much of the eighty acres of Monrovia Canyon Park, a premier amenity of the city. During the weeks where the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated, Buffy served as the main financial liaison and reported to the EOC and fulfilled urgent financial needs as resources were deployed as a result of the fire. She set up the processes required to ensure that the City would have access to State and Federal funding. Buffy also ensured that financial operations for the City continued, even through a brief period of time in which the residents and City facilities were evacuated.
Between December 2021 and January 2022, the City experienced rainstorms and windstorms that wiped out any progress that was made in the hillside since the fire. Those combined events caused debris and mud from the Bobcat Fire burn area to flow directly into Canyon Park, causing $10 million of catastrophic damage to park facilities making much of the park inaccessible to the public. Presently, Buffy is assisting with CalOES and FEMA reimbursement efforts, to help restore city funds that were utilized to address the fire and its ongoing repair and community impacts.
During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Buffy was quick to react to the changes that the pandemic brought to her team including discontinuing the imposition of late fees for delinquent utility bills.
In response to the drought at the end of 2021, the City approved Phase II of the Water Conservation Plan, which requires a 10 percent water consumption reduction for the residents of the City. Noncompliance with this conservation target results in an excess usage penalty that is reflected on customer’s utility bills. Buffy worked to coordinate all the different pieces of utility billing to ensure that the penalty billing is done accurately.
In addition to the Pension Obligation Bond issuance in 2017 that helped refinance the City’s CalPERS unfunded liability, Buffy was also a key member in setting up the City’s Section 115 trust. Funds placed in this trust are committed to certain essential governmental functions, specifically pension and other post-employment benefit obligations.
Buffy was a critical team member in getting the 3/4 percent sales tax measure approved in November 2019. The sales tax measure, eventually named Measure K, adds close to $6 million annually in local revenues to the City of Monrovia. As part of the working group, she provided key financial analyses and fiscal guidance regarding community impacts of the increase in sales tax. Presently, Buffy helps to provide updates to the Measure K Citizen Advisory Committee, and works diligently to keep them updated with relevant information.