When I was first elected in 2009, our budget was in freefall; we were cutting investment in infrastructure and thinking about outsourcing our fine police department. Since that time, our Council has focused on maintaining essential services, attracted new business and revenue, invested mightily in our storm drain and water infrastructure and even began paying down the large pension and health care debts that we inherited. Our City has never been stronger financially, albeit there is still much to do.
I want to keep building on these successes. We will always look for ways to partner with the private sector to make our precious budget dollars go further, as we did when we renovated Burlingame Avenue and as we are doing with the new parking garage and affordable housing project. And we constantly search for additional commercial income, as with the recent TopGolf negotiation. But given the level of deferred maintenance and our need to upgrade key facilities, we hope to enact a modest 1/4 cent sales tax to bolster funds for sidewalk repair and other enhancements.