So, what does your 2011 year look like?
Those New Year resolutions still look good? Last months version, you remember when you made the commitment (it seemed like a good idea at the time) do they need a tweak here and there? In your business, New Year's resolutions are not, but goals/objectives with time frames are. Whether we want to admit or not, we do have goals for our personal life, beyond just being happy. Because if we have a purpose behind our actions, life is more enjoyable and meaningful. Your City is no different; we need to assess our actions each year. Are we purposefully supporting our Mission, while doing so finding those areas needing improvement. Meeting the challenges of being an effective City government requires flexibility, creative management and citizen involvement. So as you read these remarks, think about do I know enough about this subject to satisfy me or do I have more questions. For the Mayor's Corner is to provide you with information and get feedback from you. Call me if you want more, disagree, or for whatever reason.
I have outlined the three functions (board terms) your city provides with our goals for each in 2011. And then framed them in relation to our finances necessary to accomplish the goals. These city functions are: safety of individuals, property value protection and protection of the environment.
Public Safety (safety of individuals)
Last month I explained my position on the 'so-called' speed traps. It's pretty simple, be visible and enforce your speed limits and safety improves. Last November, my position was reinforced when there were no DWI arrests. Zero, that's the first month that has happened since July 2007. Other crimes in the city remain low. Officer Taylor is working with subdivisions to review neighborhood watch and other surveillance activities for neighborhood safety.
Side Bar -- Do you wonder why we require a permit for an estate or garage sale? It doesn't cost anything. Here's why, when the police know of the sale they can ensure your street does not get blocked by parked vehicles going to the sale. Further, they (police) are cognizant of outside traffic being in your neighborhood requiring a bit more surveillance.
Goal: Continue programs like Neighborhood Watch and effective traffic control. Encourage citizens to come forth with any safety concerns.
Property Value Protection
What and how does the City provide this protection? City ordinances address this protection with: lot sizes, fence restrictions, buildings on the property (i.e. within lines to protect the lot size) maintenance of the property, etc. These ordinances are designed to ensure your house and any additions are built to the highest acceptable standards of construction. And that they fit in the neighborhood appropriately on the lot.
Goal for the year: To upgrade our building code to the newest International Building Code and to clarify and update our Property Maintenance Code.
Our trash contract comes up for renewal this spring. A comprehensive review of our current service and options available for this service versus cost will be completed before renewal time. So the question for you is, what is most important, yard waste, back-door pickup, etc. Call me.
Goal: To continue trash, recyclables service at a level consistent with available finances.
With the necessary allocation of resources, these goals are obtainable. This is the biggest challenge your city faces. Keep in mind your budget is fiscal year July 1 to June 30 (2010-2011). As I have discussed in previous 'Mayor's Corner's, we continue to run a deficit. Why? Our biggest source of revenues is state sales tax. This money is distributed to us by the County from the state sales tax revenues received. And is based on population. Historically, and still the case, it's approximately 40% of our total revenues, the highest single source. The dollar amount we received leveled off in 2007. From 2008 to 2010, these revenues decreased 43,000 (from 368,813 to 325,576) that's 11.7% in 2008. The effect on our total revenues for this same period resulted in a 7% reduction. We have and continue to take steps to reduce expenses, i.e. in our current budget we have reduced expenses from $1,036,460 to $922,766, that's 11%.
Goal: A balanced July 1, 2011 budget.
This gives you a broad picture of the City's goals for 2011 to support our mission: to maintain and enhance a secure environment that ensures quality of life, and protection of both personal safety and property value with cost-effective city government. Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year.