Council Sets Major City Goals for 2019-21
After a successful outreach program that garnered extensive community input, the City Council formally set its goals and vision on Tuesday for the 2019-21 budget cycle. The goals for the next two years are housing, fiscal sustainability and responsibility, sustainable transportation, climate action, and Downtown vitality which build on the goals from the 2017-19 financial plan.
In an effort to assist the Council, the City asked public input, as it does during the process of creating every new budget. Nearly 2,000 people offered input through an online survey and at a public forum/workshop held January 23 at the SLO Vets Hall.
Council members addressed several options, then deliberated before making final decisions. The workshop is one of several important steps the Council takes in creating a preliminary budget.
The Council also set a vision of a dynamic community embracing its future while respecting its past with core values of civility, sustainability, diversity, inclusivity, regionalism, partnership, and resiliency as a guide to approaching the work of the Major City Goals.
“I am proud of our community engagement in the budget process,” said San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon. “We have an inclusive and innovative vision for the next two years and I am committed to a solution-oriented partnership with the community and the staff that will support our community's bold vision for a resilient, sustainable, and vital San Luis Obispo.”
Housing: Facilitate the production of housing with an update of the Housing Element, including an emphasis on affordable housing (including unhoused people) and workforce housing through the lens of climate action and regionalism.
Fiscal Sustainability and Responsibility: Continue to implement the City’s Fiscal Responsibility Philosophy with a focus on efficiencies, strategic economic development, unfunded liabilities, and infrastructure financing (Funding the Future).
Sustainable Transportation: Enhance accessible regional transit, bicycle, and pedestrian mobility to promote a transition to a car-free or shared-car lifestyle and to reduce greenhouse gases.
Climate Action: In response to the climate crisis, continue to update and implement the Climate Action Plan for carbon neutrality, including preservation and enhancement of our open space and urban forest and planning for resilience.
Downtown Vitality: Support the economic and cultural heart of the City with attention to safety, maintenance, infrastructure, and amenities.
"Given our current fiscal constraints, staff will take Council’s direction to put together a budget that focuses on delivering core services and infrastructure maintenance, while prioritizing these Major City Goals,” said City Manager Derek Johnson. “We will continue to implement our Fiscal Health Response to pay down our pension liabilities, including operational reductions, finding new ways of doing business and new revenue options, and negotiating employee concessions.”
With goals now set, draft work plans will be developed and presented to the Council on April 16, 2019. Budget workshops will then be held in June before the final budget is adopted later that month. Each financial plan is for a two-year cycle. More information on the goals and the budgetary process can be found here.