Residents Urged to Make Wish List of City Projects

Now is the time to let the city know what projects you want it to take a hard look at when budget decisions are due in a few months.
Through a survey on the city’s website, residents are encouraged to review the list of 21 potential projects that have been discussed by officials and select as many as 10 of their favorites. The City Council plans to consider this resident input when plotting out the 2019-20 budget. The council narrowed its list to these 21 projects from an initial 53.
“Some of them will take a lot of money; some of them will take little money,” City Manager Marcella Marlowe said, speaking to residents Monday at a town hall meeting where she explained the new planning process. “Some of them will take a lot of staff time; some will take a little staff time. Some will take both [substantial money and staff time].
“All of these things had at least three council members support them, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll go into action,” she added. “This is just an informational piece for them to take into account when they make their final decisions.”
The potential projects are spread throughout the city’s departments and meet established critical success factors, and include items as simple as boosting staffing at the San Marino Police Department and as complex as developing an economic development program to create a business corridor in town.
“We’re looking for community input to influence decision- making on the budget,” Vice Mayor Gretchen Shepherd Romey said. “These are staff
and City Council’s ideas, but we need the community to weigh in on those and prioritize them. I think that’s very important to us.”
The council aims to discuss the survey results at its Feb. 22 meeting, and officials plan to start tabulating results
after noontime on Friday, Feb. 15. Marlowe said she hoped the process proves fruitful enough to make it a recurring part of the budgeting process. The city plans to discuss it during its de-
briefing at the end of this year’s process.
“We’re doing a lot of things for the first time in this budget process,” she said. “This to me is a very good budget process. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that can be improved. If this goes well, this would absolutely be similar to the process that I envision annually.”
The survey can be found on the home page of the city’s website at cityofsanmarino.org.

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