Monthly update from Mayor Steve Martin
By Steve Martin
Mayor of Paso Robles
–A major part of our city’s recovery from the recent recession has been the judicious restoration of city services lost when revenues dropped so drastically beginning in 2008. We have added personnel to public safety, building, and maintenance. Most recently, we have added new position in our police department dedicated to traffic enforcement. I and other members of the council have received input from the public regarding speeding, disregard for traffic signs and other problems that potentially threaten the safety of pedestrians, especially children. Although all police officers are empowered to make traffic stops, we haven’t had the capacity to dedicate much enforcement effort to traffic. That will change when the new officer is added. The police department will again have the ability to dedicate an officer to managing traffic circulation. Financially, this is challenging step. Adding a new officer to the force will cost approximately $125,000 per year. We are dedicated to public safety and are confident we will be able to prioritize our spending and increase our revenues to meet the challenge. In the meantime, you might want to check your speedometers a bit more frequently and make sure you’re coming to a complete stop at intersections. It could save you and someone else injury, not to mention avoiding a traffic ticket.
It’s been nice to see at least a few showers, but we still have a lot water challenges ahead. We are still hitting the state-mandated water targets for now, but we all have to be vigilant conserving water to make sure we avoid stiff penalties for overuse. Check your water bill. If you are using more than 25 units per month (more than 18,000 gallons!) you really need to adjust irrigation timers and take measures to reduce your personal water usage. Remember, your council decided NOT to impose water penalties for overuse, choosing instead to trust your good judgement and sense of responsibility to get the job done. Let’s show the state that’s the kind of city we are.
In other water maters, the city and other partners involved in the Nacimiento pipeline are working towards an agreement that will provide access to San Luis Obispo County’s full allocation from the lake. That will mean thousands of acre-feet of additional water available for Paso Robles. That, combined with our other multiple sources of water, will go a long way towards creating water security for our city in the future. Best of all, it looks as if we may be able to acquire this resource at no cost to our ratepayers. Stay tuned for more information.
The search for a new City Manager continues as Jim App serves his final months before retirement. We received 46 applicants for the position. The council and two citizen panels interviewed the top seven applicants. The council is in the process of evaluating the finalists. After a final selection is made, intensive background checks will be ordered and salary/benefit negotiations will begin. Our intent is to have a new person ready to hit the ground after the first of the year.
Congratulations to the Paso Robles Children’s Museum on the opening of its new children’s park. It’s a great addition to a tremendous downtown attraction and a well-deserved salute to one of the organization’s founders, the late Tom Martin.
The Paso Robles Chamber Mixer this month was held at Smith Auto at the south end of Spring Street. Wow! What a collection of beautiful luxury and sports cars! Even if you’re not in the market you need to stop by and check it out. Great job, chamber!
I couldn’t do this month’s Mayor’s Blog without congratulating our Pioneer Day Committee for another fantastic celebration of the city’s history. I had the honor, for the first time, of announcing the parade. I worked with Paso Robles icon Norma Moye to describe for the crowd the 144 entries in this year’s parade. Of course, we had all the usual trappings including free beans in the park, lots of music historical displays at the Paso Robles Historical Society Museum, the Pioneer Museum and in window displays at downtown stores. This was the 85th Annual Pioneer Day and it was a doozy! Thanks, everyone, for keeping Paso Robles’ past alive.
Well, the holiday season is upon us. Halloween is just around the corner, as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas. As you attention begins to turn again to family and friends, parties and mixers, remember to think of those less fortunate and help them have a reason to celebrate and have hope for the future in this, one of the best places in the world to live and celebrate community.
Until next we blog, here’s to you Paso Robles!