Budget

As Mayor from 2010 to 2016, I have led the city through recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression and placed us firmly on the path toward financial sustainability.  Today, our budget is balanced with no cuts and an unanticipated surplus of $5.9 million beyond the required 20% reserve. Council allocated it toward infrastructure, financial accountability upgrades and acquiring park land in the North Broad area of the City, as promised residents for almost 40 years.

Higher-than-expected Sales Tax and Transit Occupancy Tax (TOT) revenues and rising property values have increased our solvency. Our low debt ratio and excellent financial management have earned the city an AA+ bond rating. With our unions, we have successfully negotiated compensation, pension reform, and equally shared health benefits. Council is following a prudent strategy to gradually pay down unfunded pension liability by $1 million a year.

I have made sure that the major City budget goals (Open Space preservation and maintenance, multimodal transportation, housing) have been carefully implemented by staff through the budget process. I am also carefully tracking implementation of our City’s other important objectives (neighborhood wellness, Laguna Lake restoration, fiscal sustainability and Downtown maintenance).

My twelve years on City Council, including representation on the City’s Investment Oversight Committee, have provided me the opportunity to draw on my experience in municipal finance, law and management. I am the best qualified candidate for Mayor to guide the city through the challenges of the coming two-year budget goal-setting process. The Goal Setting Workshop will take place January 2017, so please let me know your ideas, issues and priorities for the future.