I hope this finds everyone well as we roll into the fall season. As always, I thank the Kirtland Chronicle for the opportunity to share the latest information with our residents.
Recently, the County Health District indicated that Senior Centers in Lake County should not open until after January 1, 2021. I want to let our senior population know that the city will be working hard to decipher and implement the necessary guidelines to make this a reality. Our first priority will remain the health and safety of our seniors.
At our last City Council meeting, Chiefs Hutton and Nosse both reported that our dispatch transition has worked seamlessly and that there have been no delays to emergency services since Willoughby began handling our calls on August 18. I hope the community is proud of the hard work of our safety services team, as this cooperative exercise in good government will save our taxpayers over $800,000 during the next five years.
As the Service Department prepares for winter, Service Director Fornaro has submitted job postings for several part time/seasonal drivers to assist the city with snow removal for our city streets. The reduction in full time Service Department personnel from 14 to 9 since April will have a significant positive impact on your city budget in the coming years, but we still need to make sure we have the proper coverage to keep our city roads safe in the winter months. The utilization of part time assistance on an as needed basis should help us accomplish that goal.
I’d like to thank members of the city administration and City Council for helping me honor my pledge to analyze city operations and deliver cost saving measures. We will continue our relentless pursuit of the identification and elimination of government waste and inefficiency. Building on the savings already achieved, my goal over the next 5 years is to finally establish and maintain a real budget reserve. Aside from addressing the State Auditor’s regular deficiency citation in this area, maintaining adequate reserves is the prudent thing to do to keep the city away from a potentially catastrophic financial cliff.
I want to mention to our residents of Old Town that our team, including Councilwoman Kelly Wolfe, has been working to create a plan for the upcoming sewer project. Councilwoman Wolfe and I will soon be scheduling neighborhood meetings that will bring our residents up to date on the timeline, costs and funding resources available to the city. Please watch for updates.
Last month, I mentioned that the initial outline of a 10-year city-wide road construction and maintenance program had been provided to City Council thanks to the efforts of Service Director Fornaro, City Engineer Courtney and the resident Road Paving Task Force. I look forward to leading the building of a city-wide consensus amongst all stakeholders with respect to the proper scope of the work to be performed and how best to fund it. Ample opportunity will be provided for all voices to be heard on this very important issue.