VACAVILLE — The city delivered the goods when it came to public services despite a rough year, according to a report Tuesday to the City Council that recapped 2012’s accomplishments.
That was true in spite of continued losses in revenue, belt-tightening in the city budget and going to the voters to ask for more taxes.
City Manager Laura Kuhn and her department heads even came close to saying the city may have turned a corner when it came to November’s successful effort to get Measures I and M passed, which will provide $6.3 million a year worth of a financial breathing space. It also helped that the city managed to get a new contract with Recology that will bring in $1 million in new revenue.
Each department head laid out specifics of how they have continued providing services despite having fewer employees and money to do so ranging from continued maintenance and repair of city streets and utilities to providing rental assistance to more than 1,400 low-income senior and working poor Vacaville households.
Community Development representatives, for example, said they were even a littler busier than they were last year due to what could be the beginning of an uptick in development projects in Vacaville, such as the proposed Brighton Landing subdivision and the expansion of North Village. Longstanding plans to develop Lagoon Valley quietly moved forward as well during 2012.
This report is the basis for the annual State of the City presentation that Kuhn and the mayor have presented in previous years to the council. It will be presented to the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce some tine in April, according to Kuhn.
Council members were generally pleased with what they heard, joining department heads in praising city employees for their dedication despite heavier workloads brought on by the last few years of budget cuts and personnel losses.
That was particularly true for the city’s former Office of Housing and Redevelopment Department, which was reduced to the Office of Housing Services after the state eliminated redevelopment and took away redevelopment funding.
That loss forced that department to eliminate, suspend or transfer to other departments 20 redevelopment projects and 18 affordable housing programs and projects, and to lay off seven full-time and six part-time employees.
Councilwoman Dilenna Harris thanked city staff on behalf of Vacaville’s residents for their work during what she called “a long, hard year.” Councilman Curtis Hunt said that despite having to deal with difficult financial issues, Vacaville staff are still doing a great job.
“It is important to tell the people that we are open for business,” Hunt said.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.