Dear Community Leader,
As Cathedral City considers how best to address the devastating cuts our City faces as a result of the State’s elimination of our Redevelopment Agency, three community meetings were set up to make sure Cathedral City residents were made aware of the kind and level of cuts being considered and to gather community input and concerns. Our initial meeting was on April 5th at the Cathedral City Library, where we focused on our current budget situation and how it came about.
The second meeting occurred April 18th at the Doral Resort and focused more specifically on the types and levels of cuts that I have put forward as a way to balance the budget. A report that outlines that proposal CAn be found here. A number of comments, questions, and ideas came from residents at the meeting, for example, how to take more advantage of volunteers, contracting out some City services, and efficiencies responding to medical emergencies. All of these comments were thoughtful and reflect the creativity of our residents, as well as our shared commitment to making our way through this difficult period.
During the meeting, Police Kevin Chief Conner and Fire Bill Chief Soqui explained what the proposed cuts to their Departments would mean. From a police perspective – longer response time, fewer if any resources devoted to gang and narcotics task forces, and proactive crime prevention. From a Fire Department perspective – the closure of one of three fire stations and longer response times for fires and medical emergencies.
It is important to understand that what is being proposed is part of a process. We are currently in negotiations with our employee bargaining groups regarding additional salary and benefit concessions. At the same time we are gathering community input leading to my recommended budget going forward to the City Council in May. These recommendations will be discussed in Council meetings open to the public which will allow opportunity for additional public participation. This will lead to the City Council being in position to approve a budget in June.
A third Community input meeting scheduled for Tuesday, April 24th, from 6:00 PM – 7:30PM at the James Workman Middle School lunch room. Among other things we will discuss our economic development challenges and opportunities. Your input is welcome.
The City is going through tough financial times, but I am convinced we have a brighter future. The first step, however, for our financial recovery is to get our budget in balance with our sources of income. To do that, we must experience cuts in service none of us wish to see. Please feel free to contact me at 760-770-0372 or firstname.lastname@example.org your comments or questions.
Donald E BradleyCity Manager
City of Cathedral City, 68700 Avenida Lalo Guerrero, Cathedral City, CA 92234. Tel: (760) 770-0340