Local Government

San Luis Obispo to Give First State of the City Address

Annual Report by City Manager Derek Johnson notes opportunities, challenges ahead

For the first time, San Luis Obispo City Manager Derek Johnson and Mayor Heidi Harmon will present the 2018 State of the City to the public. The inaugural address will celebrate the City’s “Community Builders,” while looking at the achievements of 2017 and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

The event will be held at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 21 in the City Council Chamber Room at City Hall, located at 900 Palm St, San Luis Obispo.

“Throughout 2017, the City accomplished many positive projects and initiatives, to strengthen our community,” said Mayor Heidi Harmon. “I’m looking forward to sharing what we’ve done, and what’s ahead for San Luis Obispo in 2018 and beyond.”

The State of the City report, presented first to City staff in January, highlights City accomplishments, revenue trends and upcoming challenges and opportunities. This year’s report is accompanied by a video, developed to share the key information with the community. There will be a question-and-answer period at the end.

“This year’s theme of Community Builders emphasizes the things that are possible when we work together and the importance of us all recognizing how we play a role in building community,” City Manager Derek Johnson said. “In the spirit of the theme, I wanted to share the report highlights with the public to show what’s possible when we work together and to encourage ongoing collaboration in 2018.”

“Sure, we will face challenges,” he added. “Yet, a strong partnership between our great community and our dedicated City team allows us to manage these challenges and opportunities.”

Some of the projects that reflected that collaboration include:

  • PEACE & PACT, a series of two-hour discussions meant to improve communications and understanding between police officers and the public.
  • The opening of the unique playground at Sinsheimer Park, with fun attractions that engage kids in new ways, developed in part based on kids’ feedback and advisory body input.
  • Record-setting community participation in the 2017-19 Financial Plan community forum, where the public’s input helped guide the City Council to the following four goals and other objectives:
    • Housing—Facilitate increased production of all housing types designed to be economically accessible to the area workforce and low and very-low income residents. This is being accomplished through increased density and proximity to transportation corridors in alignment with the Climate Action Plan.
    • Multi-modal Transportation—Prioritize implementation of the Bicycle Master Plan, pedestrian safety and the Short-range Transit Plan.
    • Climate Action—Implement the Climate Action Plan, assess requirements to achieve a “net-zero carbon City” and implement cost-effective measures, including appointing a Sustainability Coordinator and the formation of a “Green Team”.
    • Fiscal Sustainability and Responsibility—Continue to implement the City’s Responsibility philosophy with a focus on economic development and responsiveness, unfunded liabilities and infrastructure financing.

By News Staff

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