Martinez Mayor's Message
Mar 03, 2019 05:07PM
By Rob Schroder
Rob Schroder, Mayor of Martinez
MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR
It is a tradition in federal, state and local government that a type of annual report to the citizens be delivered by the head of state, the governor, chair of the board of supervisors, and mayors. I delivered my address last Tuesday along with Chief Sappal giving an update on the police department and public safety.
Here is a rundown of the topics included in my city update:
· Martinez is in a strong financial position with over $8 million in unrestrictive reserves and a Moody’s credit rating of “AA” and S&P of “AA+”
· Despite strong financial position, we have major challenges ahead when considering the rising cost of pensions and retiree medical benefits.
· Measure X (1/2 cent general sales tax) was approved by a super majority of 74% and is expected to bring in additional revenue of approximately $3.2 million providing funding for essential services including maintaining services for youth, seniors and recreation, maintaining 911 response times and preventing and investigating violent crimes.
· Measure D (1/2 cent dedicated sales tax) has tripled our budget for road and street repair and paving. Over $4 million of these additional funds are being used for projects currently underway all over the city.
· Special projects recently completed include the full dig-out and repaving of Brown and Green Streets, as well as the Tavan Estates trail spur pedestrian bridge.
· Major upgrades have been made to the city’s water treatment plant with a citywide water main replacement project of over $4 million underway.
· The last phase of the intermodal project in in construction. This consists of a recently completed realignment of the Ferry Street crossing across the UP tracks and a new pedestrian bridge connecting the Amtrak station with the north overflow parking lot.
· The rebuilding of Waterfront Park and the baseball field renovations were completed with Field 3 enhancements to create a championship level baseball field available for semi-pro, adult, and youth over 14.
· Alhambra Park, adjacent to the Amtrak station, was dedicated and renamed in honor of former Mayor John Sparacino.
· Over the next year, we will be completing the final Measure H Park projects including Golden Hills Park, Highland Park, John Muir Park and Sparacino Park.
· This month the city will begin work on the Marina Trust Lands Use Plan as required by the State Lands Commission. SB1424, which granted the lands at the waterfront to the city, required that we develop a comprehensive Marina Master Plan for future development and use of the marina and waterfront lands. Public meetings and input will occur later this year.
· The planning commission has recently reviewed a draft ordinance dealing with recreational cannabis and will be sending their recommendations to the city council for review in early April.
· Under economic development, we will be considering the reuse of the old train station, the old county jail, a possible pilot ferry program and the future possibilities of parking lot 4 with the recent acquisition of the building located at 821-825 Escobar Street.
Last year was a busy and productive year. 2019 is shaping up to be just as busy and hopefully productive.