By John Hamon
Paso Robles City Mayor
As we close 2023 and turn to see a new year before us, a significant task to make Paso Robles a better place to live, work, and play for early 2024 will be planning our city’s next two-year budget. The City Council goals serve as the policy direction document for city government as well as the road map for developing and implementing the city’s biennial budget. Our current 2022-2024 budget will conclude at the end of this coming June. New discussions will begin early next year to develop, propose, and adopt a two-year budget cycle for 2024-2026.
Below are a few City Council goals derived from public input. They are a guide for the allocation of resources through the budget and capital improvement program, which then aligns with department work plans and desired capital projects.
These workplans, projects, and priorities are intended to be implemented, achieved, or constructed within the two-year budget cycle. Here are some examples that council will be using during this budget development period.
Economic Development and Vitality to support local businesses, Paso Robles as a destination for the “Remote Economy,” complete the FAA licensing process and plan for a Spaceport and Tech Corridor, expand Broadband internet access and connectivity; continue strategic, long-term partnerships with the Chamber of Commerce, Travel Paso, Visit SLO CAL, Main Street Association and the Hispanic Business Association.
Infrastructure Improvement and maintenance of existing facilities, investing Measure J-20, Measure E-12 Supplemental Sales Tax and other funding sources to enhance city streets, and downtown parking lots by improving pavement conditions and lighting.
Preparing for Community Growth by developing shovel-ready transportation projects to obtain State and Federal grants. Projects in the planning stage are the State Route 46/Union Road Overpass, the Huer-Huero Creek Bridge, the Vine Street Realignment and Bridge, Bike and Pedestrian Plan, Salinas River/Grand Loop Bike Trail, and the Mill Road parallel route annexation.
Increase Affordable and Market-Rate Housing Units. Support affordable housing development through site selection assistance and fee deferral. Advance opportunities to update land use designations to facilitate construction of new higher density residential units. Support homelessness by partnering with ECHO and other stakeholders for emergency sheltering services. Create Regional Homeless Services Strategic Plan with ECHO and other stakeholders including County of San Luis Obispo Homeless Manager and Behavioral Health Department.
Invest in Public Safety Infrastructure and operate public safety agencies efficiently to reduce response times, procure necessary equipment and vehicles, maximize partnerships with regional agencies, target staffing goals as outlined in Measure J-20 staffing plan.
Improve Quality of Life Amenities by Expanding Library and Recreation Programming, Events, and Activities, provide staffing to restore weekend and evening recreation programming, introduce books-by-mail library program for homebound residents, implement a “loan-a-librarian” program for local organizations to request a librarian as a guest speaker, expand utilization of library facilities through partnerships with local service clubs, government agencies and private sector industries, enhance park, complete the new pickleball courts at Sherwood Park, develop pedestrian lighting improvement plans, and develop alley and pedestrian accessibility improvement plans.
There is not enough space in this message to tell the public all that is happening within your city government, but I hope this will paint a picture for what we are trying to achieve over the next few years. All council goals are driven by Roblan needs and desires to improve your City of Paso Robles. I encourage you to communicate with your City Council and city staff in ways that can make Paso Robles a better place to live, work and play.
I look forward to forward to hearing from you in 2024.
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