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Looking Back at 2015

Jerry NaboursWhat happened in the city in 2015? As a city, did we “move forward?” Did the City Council accomplish anything?

 

Roads Thanks to your approval of an increase in sales tax, we saw a lot of road repairs and resurfacing last summer. You will see more this summer. Underground utilities also.

 

Road Congestion We put together a task force that has to come up with a solution for the congestion on Milton (and a few other points). At least we have started serious planning.

 

Open Space In 2014, we bought a lot of open space. In 2015, we started a management plan and thinned the forested portions.

 

Police Last year, we were looking at a 30 percent loss of police officers per year, mostly due to pay. This year, the Council raised the police and dispatchers’ salaries and provided housing assistance through a grant process. Now, we have NO vacancies in police patrol. This was one of my top priorities last year and I’m very pleased with our progress.

 

Business Accelerator We opened a new facility on the mesa where start-up businesses can rent offices, labs, conference rooms and equipment to help them become a bigger business.

 

Business is Recovering Growth will continue to come to Flagstaff and we must continue to attract businesses that will support that growth. You have seen many new businesses and new buildings. The land along the Fourth Street overpass is being developed according to our master plan. Things are happening all over town. I hope this is a reflection of a business-friendly Council.

 

Charter Amendments We brought you a number of proposed city charter amendments to vote on. You approved most of them and set city elections for November. It cleaned up some loose ends.

 

Plastic Bags We spent a lot of time hearing about plastic bags and reports from various committees. Then, the state legislature said, “Not your issue to decide, it’s a state issue.” So, we have once again directed our efforts to continuing education and promotion of voluntary use of reusable bags.

 

City Manager We had to get a new city manager on board in January. Jeff Meilbeck served us well for eight months as agreed. Then we promoted Deputy City Manager Josh Copley and he is doing a great job.

 

Veteran’s Home   Although the veteran’s home is not built, I am pleased that we continue to push this issue with our state legislators and federal contacts. We have provided the land and I am confident that there will be a veteran’s home here in Flagstaff in the near future.

 

We spend time on issues that go nowhere. We spend time on issues that take more than a year to bear fruit. And, we spend time on the more mundane business of keeping the city functioning. FBN

By Jerry Nabours

 

 

Jerry Nabours is the mayor of Flagstaff.

Any opinions in this column are those of Jerry Nabours and not necessarily the views of the City Council.

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