Stay Informed, Get Involved: Tuesday’s Council Meetings
There are several important agenda items that will be discussed at next Tuesday’s (September 15) Council work session and meeting, so I’d like to make you aware of two in particular. They are:
- FORMING OUR COMMUNITY’S CHARACTER – As a city that has experienced tremendous growth over the past 15 years, creating a more business-friendly planning environment in Surprise while still promoting quality growth is important to all of us. This goes to the core of creating a vibrant, well-balanced city. Land uses relating to neighborhoods, commercial, office and employment corridors, public facilities (such as parks) and open space all play a significant role in forming the “character” of a community. That is why it’s important you know about the work currently underway by city staff to update the land-use element of the Surprise General Plan.The General Plan represents the city’s “blueprint” and planning document for future development. Thus, the goal of the land-use element update will be to provide planning and design guidance on future development that reflects the unique qualities and characteristics of a specific area within our city. If you are interested in learning more about how the city is working toward enhancing Surprise’s overall sense of community through land-use planning, please attend or watch the Council work session at 4 p.m. The proposed changes to the Land-Use Element of the General Plan will be available for viewing on www.surpriseaz.gov during the 60-day review period beginning September 18. The final draft is scheduled to go before City Council for a vote on December 15, 2015.
- CITY’S FINANCIAL HEALTH REPORT – The Council will receive an update on the city’s fiscal year 2015 budget, which ended on June 30, 2015. Since the City Manager is tasked with developing a recommended annual budget for the Council to review and approve far in advance, he is only able to use estimates from the previous year to identify available funds for the new budget. Thus, this presentation will compare the FY15 estimates against actual financial performance which, in turn, will guide future budget discussions.As many of you recall following the end of the recession, we put strong fiscal policies in place to rebuild the city’s fund balance reserve within two years. This was a very important milestone for the city, and we were successful in doing that. Due to the fact the city’s Finance staff had to essentially “backfill” the city’s spent-down reserves, this has left little or no money to effectively address the maintenance/replacement of vehicles, equipment and buildings as well as funding of future capital improvements. Thus, this discussion during Tuesday’s Council meeting will help bring in to focus any potential funds that may be available to address short-term budget needs.
You can also view next Tuesday’s Council work study and meeting agendas at http://agenda.surpriseaz.gov/
Whenever I send eBulletins on upcoming Council work study and/or meeting agenda items, I’m going to remind you there are two ways for you to speak directly to myself and Council members at these meetings. First, you can speak on matters before us, which appear on the meeting agenda. The second way is during the “Call to the Public” portion of the meeting when you may address the Council on any issue or item that is not published on the agenda.
If you cannot attend the meetings, you can view them live on the city web site or watch past meetings or a particular agenda item of interest “on demand” by visiting http://www.surpriseaz.gov/files/granicus/surprise11council.html