Posted by: twotrees | February 7, 2012

State of the City address

Tonight’s State of the City address was what you’d expect:  A simple presentation peppered with facts and figures, a few nice comments, a few reality check quotes and a warm feeling Ventura is a nice place to be.

Mayor Mike Tracy’s straightforward delivery style, along with a CAPS produced video made the event flow.  Several things of note:

The mayor emphasized that the city is ‘revenue challenged’ – although the council and city staff has cut $15 million from the annual budget, the 2012 budget calls for $82.4 million in expenses vs. a projected $82.4 million in revenue.  That leaves a shortfall of close to $2 million for this year.  Mike went on to say that his personal opinion is that at some point, the city will likely have to again ask citizens to pay more in taxes to shore things up.

Crime update: Ventura, based on per capita statistics, has the highest Part 1 crime rate in the county.  There are 34 such crimes per thousand, trumping all cities including Oxnard(25/1000).  Part of this might be due to the reduction of sworn officers on the streets.  Part of it might be that Ventura has approximately 33% of the homeless inVentura County. Oxnard also has 1/3 of the homeless, but that city is twice the size ofVentura.  And the other eight cities share the remaining 1/3 of the homeless.  Three reasons for that:  beaches, riverbed campsites and a higher concentration of social services than elsewhere.

On the business development front, there was little to say other than the Players Casino, recently relocated to the Auto Mall fromVentura Avenue, will generate $1 million in tax revenue for the city this year.  That’s not going to get us to the next level.

 Most everyone who was anyone was there;  from developers to Tea Party favorites, lots of city staff and community activists.  And councilmember Brian Brennan, who is said to contemplating a run for Supervisor, wore a suit.  Me thinks that’s a signal…

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