October Martinez Mayor's Message
Oct 02, 2015 08:27PM
● By Jennifer Neys
by Rob Schroder, Mayor of Martinez
If you go to the city’s website (www.cityofmartinez.org) and tab to the mayor and city council section, you will see the following passage: “It is the responsibility of the Council to ensure the welfare of the people of Martinez. To that end, they are empowered to pass ordinances and resolutions, approve the spending of money, and set general policy for the City.” At first glance it seems rather simple, but I have found that almost everyone interprets “ensuring the welfare of the people” in a different way, including members of the city council. One thing that is consistent on every city council in California is that the city council sets policy and the city manager and his/her staff is charged to carry out that policy.
As mayor and city council members, we are in constant communication with our residents, businesses, and visitors. We receive hundreds of emails and dozens of phone calls every week. Some are simple complaints about potholes and speeding cars. Others can be more involved regarding the long-term planning of the city. But what about all of those residents that never call their mayor and city council members, never attend meetings, and don’t write letters to the editor? Their voice is just as important as those that do.
As a group, the city council confers with citizens, businesses, outside funding agencies, and city staff to formulate direction for the future and funding priorities. In an effort to reach out to a broader spectrum of our population, the city has commissioned a Martinez Citizen Survey. This scientific survey is being sent to a small sample of Martinez households. We are gathering demographic information such as age, income level, number of family members, etc., but will concentrate on the level of support (or lack of support) for several specific city projects. The survey is completely anonymous and can be completed online or mailed.
Watch your mailbox for the survey and, if you are one of the households scientifically selected, please complete and return it. Your participation in this survey is very important and will help the Martinez City Council make decisions that affect our city.
Whether you are sent the survey or not, you should check out the very important and very easy to read Budget in Brief. This is a 9-page document with a synopsis from the city manager and simple graphs of where money comes into the city and what it is used for. Instead of searching through hundreds of pages of the actual budget, you can easily scan the graphs and charts. You can find the Budget in Brief at http://www.cityofmartinez.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=12065.