by Rocky Rogers,
Reedley City Manager
Reflecting back on the past year, I am somewhat hesitant to engage the next year. Not because of fear or unwillingness, nor because we lack the courage from council and staff. The hesitancy comes because uncertainty provides nothing in which to plan with. The City has taken bold steps this past year toward budget stability, economic development and transparency. Since uncertainty awaits Cities as a whole, I suggest we move forward by faith and strength in the knowledge that we have a God who can make a way when there seems to be none. Besides, He has ordained governments to finish a task.
Our goals, our hopes will be to continue toward a more stable budget, more opportunities for economic development and a government that has nothing to hide from its citizens. Our best guess for next year is the City will face a $600,000 deficit. If we couple that with council’s policy to provide a buffer to end the year, funding of equipment and capital and maintain adequate resources, we have a very challenging dollar figure to attain—well over a million dollars. That is why as staff we have begun a 3-5-7 year long range financial forecast that once citizens and council have participated in the process, will provide the City with the stable financial framework in which to function for decades to come.
This process should see its culmination into a two-year budget by May/June 2011. The City’s economic development began with the commissioning by council for the Buxton Market study. This next year the City will begin practical applications such as stronger partnerships with the chamber and other economic agencies, bonding with the redevelopment funding to provide infrastructure, affordable housing help and business incentives to provide the impetus for private business rectors to do what they do best, Grow! Transparency was brought to the forefront following the ever popular “Bell” scandal. Reedley is revamping its web page to provide an easier to navigate site with better access to information including City salaries, contacts and agreements.
These are just three things that certainly encompass a great deal more than I have space to write. All I can leave you with is a Thank you for your support and civility this past year and ask that you get more involved this next by commenting, attending workshops, and council meetings.