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So what's happened in the last four years?  
 

So … exactly what has changed in the last four years? Here are some highlights:

Public Safety

  • Increased numbers of police officers, including two new community police officers assigned to neighborhoods
  • New, major, active neighborhood associations and a strong, well-attended regular monthly meeting of all neighborhood associations
  • Decline in homicides and violent crime
  • Decline in arsons
  • Shorter police and fire response times
  • Millions of dollars of alternative funding secured for personnel, equipment and technology

Blight

  • Increase in number of blighted structures demolished
  • Millions of dollars of alternative funding secured for blight reduction
  • Hundreds of thousands of dollars of grants for alternative blight solutions, such as deconstruction
  • Renewed efforts to capture demolition costs from property owners
  • Stepped up code enforcement with inter-departmental cooperative SCENIC unit

Administration and Finance

  • Completed national search for city manager and hired a damn good one
  • Settled contracts with seven collective bargaining units, all helping reduce the City’s pension and health insurance costs
  • Audits filed with the state on time, for the first time in years
  • Monthly YTD financial reports giving a clear standing of current financial picture, for the first time in years
  • Collection of millions of dollars in back receivables, some years old
  • Clean audits, with only deficiencies those from the past still being corrected
  • Replenishment of budget stabilization fund
  • Completed restructuring of many departments, leading to greater efficiency

Redevelopment and Renewal

  • Developed and began implementation of a realistic neighborhood revitalization plan for one specific targeted geographic area
  • Developed plans for key entry corridor areas
  • Removal of dormant and decaying water park and construction of new state-of-the-art splash and skate park -- with no tax dollars
  • Restoration of Hoyt Park into a first-class softball venue -- with no tax dollars.