friends. I wanted to let you know what we are working on
to move Merced forward. Unfortunately we are in unchartered
waters in regards to the budget mess that we currently find
ourselves in. We are still unaware of what to expect from
the state but know it isn’t going to be pretty. Here
in Merced our current revenues aren’t going to sustain
us for long and for that reason we are putting a sales tax
measure on an upcoming ballot. The reason is we cannot continue
to provide the services that our residents want without
a down-turned economy, people spend less money; therefore
there is less sales tax revenue. The number of residents
remains the same, the need for public safety services remains
the same and there is just not enough money the keep services
at their current levels.
These are difficult times with hard choices. We must make
the decision on whether or not we value the public safety,
and all of the things attributed at helping keep our public
safe a big one of which is Parks and Recreation in our community.
We have continued to see a decline in crime but that is
because of the proactive approach that our fine police and
fire men and women have taken, and the programs that are
parks and recreation department has provided for us.
Without more revenue, we will have to reduce personnel in
public safety and cut programs that so many of are youth
participate in. These are not "scare tactics"
but a sober assessment of the realities we face.
Lastly, I want to assure everyone we have listened to the
members of the community, employees and the hard-working
staff at the city to their opinions and suggestions on how
to save money.
I cannot speak for the rest of the council, but I can speak
for myself when I say I do not take these suggestions, comments
or concerns lightly, and in fact I encourage them.
On a lighter note, I am extremely excited about the ongoing
construction of the Merced Theater and believe this will
be a beacon for people to come to downtown Merced, where
we are continuing to see a revitalization of business. Our
development staff in the city is working extremely hard
to attract more businesses to the community and coming up
with creative ways to spend our redevelopment money that
the state has threatened to take away.
look forward to working with you as we work together to
maintain the quality of life that we find so special in