Mayor's Top Ten Goals for 2007Download the Mayor's January Newsletter in Adobe PDF format.
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My Top 10 Goals for 2007
I believe that each year the Mayor should share with the public the goals we hope to accomplish in the next twelve months on behalf of the citizens of Bremerton. Here are those goals.
#1. Balance the City Budget
We are the stewards of the people's money and it should be spent efficiently and effectively. We have a legal obligation to balance the budget at the end of the year. We accomplish that by holding the line on expenses while working to exceed budgeted revenues through economic growth. This was accomplished in 2006 and we expect the same success in 2007. We have experienced four straight years of economic growth and I see no reason why that will not continue. Our budget priority in 2007 is public safety and we will honor that by hiring five new officers in our police department and opening the new police headquarters on Burwell Street.
#2. Improve Communications with Citizens
Communications with citizens must improve and become more effective in engaging them in the public dialogue. I believe that decisions made through a public process have a greater chance for success as we are able to learn what it is the public expects from their government. Also, we must improve our ability to share information with the public and inform them as to the issues facing the City and the plans to solve the challenges. Only by working together can we become a strong healthy community.
#3. Submit a Park Levy for a Public Vote
The Park system is old and under a lot of strain from increased use. It requires an infusion of new investment in order to bring it to a standard that will adequately serve citizens for the next twenty years. Jarstad Aquatic Center, Senior Citizens Center, and Sheridan Park Community Building are very old facilities and need capital improvements. A higher level of maintenance is required as more and more parks are added and used by the public. It will be the citizens' choice whether or not we make improvements to the park system with the opportunity to vote on this proposal this fall.
#4. Complete the Harborside Fountain Park
Under the direction of project manager Gary Sexton we plan to complete the Harborside Fountain Park and have it open by May 1, 2007. This park, located between the Naval Station and the ferry terminal, will be a world class park facility with five exciting fountains, wonderful trees and landscaping, spaces for public picnics and concerts, and an addition to the proposed shipyard museum for meetings and special events. This park is part of the long range master plan for the Harborside District.
#5. Initiate a Neighborhood Grant Program
In our effort to revitalize some of our neighborhoods, a Neighborhood Grant program will begin this year. I will propose to the City Council that we make three grants of $5,000 to neighborhood groups who come forward with a grant application that helps improve their neighborhood. The City will provide the funds and the neighborhood members will build the project. The funding will come from our Community Development Block Grant program and be managed by Block Grant staff.
#6. Work with Bremer Trust on Redevelopment of the Penney's Site
The former Penney's building could again become the retail center of Bremerton which would be very exciting for downtown. The City secured a State grant of $50,000 and hired development consultant Ron Sher. He is working with the Bremer Trust Board members on a redevelopment concept for the 80,000 square foot building, located in the middle of the new Harborside District. The City is committed to working with the Trust to develop a plan for the building that will meet the Trusts long range financial needs and allow the site to become the centerpiece of the revitalized Harborside District.
#7. Support the Bremerton Schools Objectives
Nothing is more important to the health of a City than a great school system and I believe Bremerton School District is on its way to becoming a first class school district. This year, new wings will be built on the high school and middle school buildings which will provide our children with two great facilities. I pledge that the City will do all we can to work with and support the District under the able leadership of Superintendent Bette Hyde and the Bremerton School Board. Nothing is more important than our children.
#8. Support Harrison Medical Center
A world class health care system in the community that serves our citizens is critical to our economic future. New companies and their families want to work and live in a community that provides excellent health care. I believe we will see many baby boomers move to our community to retire and they will require an excellent health care system. The City wants to work with the Harrison Medical Center team in their plans to expand and improve their existing facilities in Bremerton. I look forward to working with CEO Scott Bosch and his Board to accomplish these common goals.
#9. Secure Funding for the Proposed New Boardwalk
No project has captured the attention of our citizens and the northwest community more than the proposed extension of the Mentor Boardwalk. It will connect the downtown Harborside District to the Evergreen Park neighborhood and will provide walkers and joggers with a fantastic 3000 foot view of beautiful Puget Sound waterfront. If we are able to secure the remainder of the needed funding for the project, construction could possibly begin in 2008. Very exciting!
#10. Installation of the New Harborside Marina
The Port of Bremerton funded a new 350 slip marina which is under construction and will be moved into place near the downtown ferry terminal in late 2007. Once the marina is full it will bring over $2 million a year in new revenue to the City. I want to thank the Port of Bremerton for their leadership in developing this great project for boating community in the northwest and the City.