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Highlights of State-of-the-City Address

New Monrovia City Logo

In her state of the city address, Mayor Mary Ann Lutz basically said Monrovia is financially stable, but keeping it that way has been tough and is still tough. But even in the midst of tough times, the city has a lot to brag about. Read the whole speech here:

"The State of the City," she said, "is stable and secure."

However ...

"Official unemployment numbers are reported today at more than 10% nationally, more than 12% in the state and nearly 11% in Monrovia. If we're to believe those numbers, then there are at least 4,000 of our neighbors who need a job, right now."

and ...

"City income from property taxes last year was below even our low expectations. And, sales tax revenues have been falling short for several years. They are only now showing signs of recovery."
Plus, the California state government has been looting the cities: "Year-after-year of State take-aways that have cost this community millions of dollars."

"The City's staffing has been cut by 12% in the past two years. Nearly 30 of Monrovia's municipal employees were either laid off, retired early or saw their positions eliminated. Some full-time positions have become part-time."

Some good news: "The retail economy seems to have stabilized for the moment and sales tax revenues were actually up 6% in 2009-2010 from the previous year, thanks in large measure to Living Spaces and Paul's TV. But we also saw our auto dealers increase their sales and leases in 2009-2010, and sales tax revenue from those sources was positive for the first time in two years. We haven't seen the figures from the last quarter yet, but it looked like a strong holiday finish for our retailers, too."

However, property taxes are still lagging - "and that means we've been forced to take another look at our expected revenues for the rest of this year and adjust them down another 1.2% - about $120,000."
"In December we bit the bullet and cut spending again - we've cut another 2% across the board. Every department is taking this hit."

Lutz said the city needs "New or higher taxes, or new, productive businesses in a vibrant private sector." And she said she wants to take the new-business approach, and especially to round up the long-awaited In ‘N Out Burger this year. "I promise you, we're putting on a full-court press and we intend to bring this one home this year!"

Also, she said:

~ The governor's plan to do away with redevelopment "is a leap in the wrong direction."
~ "The Gold Line could bring as much as $2 billion worth of investment to this community in the next 10 years."
~ The city is ahead of the game on reforming pensions. She said the city's plan "requires us to fund all contributions annually so there is never a danger of unfunded liability."
~ The Operation Safe Neighborhoods anti-gang program is working.
~ The city is putting a lot of effort into sustainability.
~ Public art has enlivened the downtown area.
~ The Monrovia Area Partnership, formed "to bring coordinated services to neighborhoods that need a little extra attention," has been a success.

- Brad Haugaard

1 comment:

  1. I was amazed that Mayor Lutz announced a new city logo at the State of the City meeting. There are a number of things wrong with this, among them: 1) The current logo has served us well. Everyone I have talked with likes the current logo. 2) It would be difficult to support adopting a new logo. Will it bring new businesses into the community? Will it bring new consumers into the business district? Will it make the community more prestigious? I think not. 3) It will have a significant cost and take significant staff time to fully implement. Particularly during tough economic times. And to what advantage? 4) Why would the mayor announce something like this without previous review with City Council members? I think this is a terrible idea and I hope community comment will convince the Mayor and City Council to scrap this idea.Ron Hadfield, Proud of being a Monrovia resident since 1970