(bw)“This great recession has not been kind to the City of Stockton,” Mayor Ann Johnson shined light to the challenges facing the port city with optimism, “I am a supreme optimist,” said Johnson on her 2011 State of the City address on
The attentive crowd of business owners listened quietly to the impacts of the sluggish economy over the city’s budget, “our sales and property tax income has decline between 16 to 20 percent in the last two years and we have no reserves,” reported the Mayor.
The city must balance a 37 million dollar budget deficit; a budget the Mayor promised will pass on time. She addressed some of the steps City Council has implemented “to get the house in order,” including the hiring of Bob Deis, a 30-year experienced city manager and hiring Deputy City Manager, Mike Locke, who offers experience in attracting businesses to San Joaquin. Also she appreciated the approval of Measure H along with the declaration of fiscal emergency which “gives us the legal ability to get a balance budget.”
The mayor provided two solutions to close the budget deficit, “Plan A to cut-out 150 employees… an unacceptable solution,” she noted; and, “Plan B to give concessions to city employees,” a plan which may, “save jobs.”
Johnson pleaded for consumers to purchase from local businesses and asked for everyone to turn off their personal computer when it comes to internet shopping, “when you spend on online purchases zero dollars stay on the local community.”
“Stockton will recover from the great recession stronger than ever”, Johnson affirmed that City Officials are working hard “to make lemon aide” as they are preventing the city’s bankruptcy and she asked, “with your help we will live up to our new slogan — Stockton is magnificent.”
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