I am very pleased with the direction Council gave staff today. Today was a huge step towards a long term financial realignment of our fiscal house. In the next day or so I’ll write about it in detail but for now here are some of the high points.
• Self certification for building permits.
This would allow engineers and architects to go thru training that would certify them to submit plans without review to avoid any wait in getting a permit for certain tenant improvements. Essentially you go to the Community Development counter with your certified plans, give the City a check and get your permit, no wait!
• $3,000,000 in reallocations.
With the realization that we need tens of millions just for our streets, millions more for capital needs and a growing morale problem due to staff not receiving any pay increases in five years, Council gave direction for staff to look at lowering the amount of the city’s 1,000 person workforce through attrition. We’ll also be looking at various services the city is involved in to determine efficiency increases and other strategies to free up millions for our needs.
• Discontinuation of the City building spec homes.
We currently build homes intended for affordable housing. This is done through the city retaining the land under the house while someone buys the actual house, a ground lease. A strategy that may make sense when prices are over inflated but as I pointed out today, does not make sense under current or foreseeable market conditions.
More detail to come soon.