Greetings from the City of Santa Cruz and welcome to our Spring 2012 e-newsletter. I would like to take this opportunity to discuss our progress towards achieving City Council’s Strategic Goals, which are outlined below. By tracking our work toward these five goals, we are able to measure how we are doing and identify actions that we can take to make Santa Cruz a better place to live, work and play. Here is a brief update on our efforts:
Goal: Enhance Community Safety. The Police Department’s predictive policing program, which combines up-to-the-minute crime data analysis with police officer intuition, has been instrumental in dropping property crime rates in Santa Cruz. Further, I am happy to report that the City and UCSC Fire Departments have joined forces in a two-year pilot program to reduce costs. These efforts demonstrate our public safety departments’ knack for innovation—and a real commitment to delivering emergency response services cost effectively.
Goal: Attract and Retain Businesses and Jobs. National retailer Forever XXI signed a lease to fill the vacancy left by the Borders bookstore in Downtown Santa Cruz, and work has started on bringing small business permitting online with the help of Code for America. Even with the State’s dissolution of redevelopment, the Economic Development Department continues to make Santa Cruz a more economically sustainable City.
Goal: Achieve Financial Stability and Sustainability. The City continues to chip away at our ongoing structural deficit. Revenue collections are up, thanks to improved economic conditions locally. Additionally, the City is thoughtfully considering Organizational Review recommendations to help reduce our expenditures, including options to cut administrative costs without impacting service levels. Public hearings for the FY 2013 Budget will take place in June.
Goal: Improve and Maintain the Infrastructure and Facilities. The City continues to meet its 2006 Measure H commitment for streets improvements and the next round of funding will be budgeted for FY 2013. Also, final touches are being put on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center, which is scheduled to open this summer.
Goal: Enhance Environmental Sustainability and Resources. The City Council will consider adoption of the updated Climate Action Plan in April, which outlines how we can reduce our carbon footprint and maintain a Santa Cruz for future generations to enjoy.
As we move into the FY 2013 Budget planning process, these five goals will be part of every conversation, and we will continue to provide updates to the community on our work. I look forward to discussing our successes, challenges and opportunities with you.