The City Manager's Corner
First 45 days of the City Council
The independent, home-rule initiative founded by our courageous Cityhood leaders over 30 years ago embodies the spirit of Big Bear Lake. As it did in 2008 and 2010, our recently concluded 2012 City Council election brough us the return of an incumbent and one new member. Being a Councilmember is hard work and requires substantial participation in all aspects of community life.
A cohesive working team of elected officials is best created when the five-member City Council is provided an abundance of useful information, research and analysis. Furthermore, it also needs the opportunity to reaffirm the City's Vision, Mission and Goals. In short, an effective City Council charts the direction it wishes to pursue to satisfy the mandate of the People it was elected to serve.
Ronald Reagan's New Federalism, FDR's New Deal and the 1994 Contract with America were historic examples of charting a visionary path to the future, while recognizing the realities of the current day. Our newly formed City Council will have that opportunity to re-set the City's public service ideals and future aspirations in their initial few months in office.
We are in a much different place than we were a few years ago. With the dissolution of redevelopment agencies by the State of California in early 2012, the City of Big Bear Lake began evaluating local economic development needs and opportunities. As a result, the focus for our new economic development efforts have now been shifted from the adopted redevelopment plans to a "home grown" local economic development program characterized by implementing our "Quality of Life" projects and our Business Expansion, Attraction and Revitalization (now affectionately coined the "BEAR" Program).
We are on a course to continue to pursue the development and framework for five (5) major action items for this Council's future consideration:
- City-wide Business Facade and Sign Improvement Program
- Lodging Revitalization Program
- Business Attraction Initiative
- Business/Tourism Improvement District Program
- Quality of Life Projects Funding Strategies
Over the course of the next few months, your City Council will consider action items to move forward with these new programs/initiatives. This slate of economic programs adds to the slow but steady economic recovery we are seeing locally. Our most recent quarterly updates to both Sales Tax and Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) exceed previous reporting periods by over 5%.
Upcoming meetings & workshops:
January 28 - The City Council will convene in Open Session at 6:30 p.m. to receive several presentations regarding the City's future vision that will include:
- Branding & Community Identity
- Reinvestment & Revitalization
- Enhancement & Preservation of our Mountain Community
February/March - This time is reserved for the City Council to review and ascertain our financial position Mid-Fiscal Year, including the review of:
- Mid-Year Budget presentation
- City's Reporting obligations
- Financial Reserve policies
- External factors affecting the City: regional economy, State Budget re-cap; distribution of funds received from State and Federal government
- Exploratory financing models (bond sales; assessment districts)
So plan to join us as we eagerly plan and reaffirm our future as Southern California's Premier Four-Season Resort Community.
As always, your comments, feedback and thoughts are always welcomed!
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