March 31, 2015
The Challenges Ahead
Thanks so much to the voters of Pacific Grove for your support at the polls for this election. I appreciate both the strong election turnout - one of the leaders in the county - and your votes that have continued my role as mayor.
The new term and the new council are now well into the work facing us over the coming two years. We held a workshop on January 10 to talk about priorities. The brainstorming created a number of worthy topics. In the end, we narrowed our focus into a few primary topics.
Here are the consolidated results we have selected as the key priorities:
- Infrastructure for the Future - this topic includes our Local Water Project, plus street, sidewalk, and sewer maintenance. We our environmental challenges of storm water runoff management and the protection of our coastline in the face of sea level rise.
- Financial Sustainability - We have done nearly all that is possible locally to contain pension costs and will continue to advocate for pension reform at the state level. Ten years of cost reduction measures have helped us build the reserves that we have on hand at the moment, and cost reduction will continue to be an element into the future. Yet we are seeing very significant increases in the pension costs allocated by CalPERS, and that will grow into the future. And we will be facing large costs for storm water management. The result is that we must also consider revenue measures to ensure our ability to pay our bills.
- Effective Public Engagement - This topic has two parts: 1) Ensuring that we have open and transparent processes for our city actions, and 2) the citizen experience when engaging with the city for permits, library, rec programs, code compliance, and other points of contact.
We are still working out details as we move into 2015.
A Closing Thought
I believe the desire for a positive spirit is strong in PG. I
believe that we can find ways to work together. I believe we can
create the future we desire for ourselves and for our city. Yes we can!