Monday, April 2, 2012
Mayor all aTwitter over Tracy/The Record
Official wants to spread word that city's in 'fine shape'
TRACY - For the city finance geeks in cyber-world, Tracy Mayor Brent Ives has a message.
"Please tweet this: 'The City of Tracy is in fine shape.' "
It is in much better shape, he said, than most Central Valley cities struggling to recover from the global economic crisis.
That is thanks to Measure E, a sales tax Tracy residents passed in 2010, and because past leaders saved funds for rainy days, Ives said last week in his annual State of the City address.
City leaders will have a relatively low $3 million budget gap to close next fiscal year. General fund revenue is projected to be about $47 million, with expenses totaling about $50 million.
Sales taxes were up 10 percent, and 300 new jobs have been created, Ives said.
There were 140 new businesses in Tracy in 2011, including numerous companies that relocated there.
The crime rate last year also was stable, Ives said.
There were no murders reported in 2011. The per-capita violent crime rate last year (1.7) is half of the rate in Lodi and about eight times less than Stockton.
"Tracy experiences far less crime than any other city in the Central Valley," he said.
However, gangs continue to be a challenge for Tracy, he said. The Police Department is looking for community partners to address the problems, and it is holding community forums to inform and hear from the public.
The state's elimination of redevelopment agencies poses another municipal challenge. Many of Tracy's improvement projects were funded by redevelopment funds, such as the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts, low-income housing and downtown renovations. But at least with the city's financial house in order, city leaders can focus on solutions to redevelopment and the city's future, Ives said.
"Let's set the bar much higher," he said.
Contact reporter Jennie Rodriguez-Moore at (209) 943-8564 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her blog at recordnet.com/courtsblog.