For years, former Santa Cruz City Manager Dick Wilson would release -- along with his annual budget -- a narrative that was generally an incisive commentary on not only municipal governance but also an unblinking look at the California Legislature.
This year, new City Manager Martin Bernal has released his budget -- but with a much shorter commentary. The budget was released this week and is right here in its entirety.
"I noted in the introduction that we are in the process of adapting to a new normal. We have no choice. Over the last few years we have largely been in crisis management mode, reacting to negative external forces that have caused us to reduce service levels to our community. While uncertainty remains, we are in a stronger position and have chosen to change to a proactive approach. Earlier this year, the City Council began a strategic planning effort that has resulted in the adoption of three-year strategic plan goals and objectives. With a strategic plan in place, the City of Santa Cruz will be able to focus its limited resources on the most important priorities and continue to improve the high quality of life we enjoy; the goals merit repeating in this message. They are to:
-- Enhance environmental sustainability and resources.
-- Enhance community safety.
-- Attract and retain businesses and jobs.
-- Achieve financial stability and sustainability.
-- Improve and maintain the infrastructure and facilities.
For a wrapup on the particulars of the budget, see J.M. Brown's story in the Sentinel.
City budget hearings will take place in June. The city deserves some credit for opening up the process with a special program for residents. See the following post.