City Beat April 2022

by Don Reynolds, City Manager
As published in the March issue of the Mission Village Voice

As I write this article, the City is preparing for its Arts & Crafts Festival, the first “special event” in two years. Spring is in the air, and we expect a lot of people will be coming to town celebrate this “renaissance.” On April 23, 2022, we will celebrate Earth Day at Luck Park. The Rib Cook-Off is the highlight for Memorial Day, and we will be swinging right into the heat of the summer. Working closely with the San Juan Committee and the businesses downtown, we are ready to roll out the red carpet.

In terms of City business, the community will be engaged with the City staff to design the new cultural trial system we refer to as the “active transportation plan” (this was the focus of my last article). A complete assessment of the City’s bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is happening now, to determine the priorities for making our City friendlier for walking. There will be a community-wide conversation on this subject the weekend of June 10. Also kicking off in April and ending in June is the City’s budget conversation. Amidst the budget workshops will be a water rate fee study, an effort to pay for the capital expense needed to import drinking water from the San Benito Water District.

By the time this article is published, the park at Franklin Circle will be nearly completed, as well as the roundabout at Lavagnino and First Street. The new restrooms will arrive for Verutti Park. The city residents have waited a long time for these improvements to be built. Thank you to everyone for your hard work, encouragement and patience.

While amending its Strategic Plan for the new fiscal year, a lot has been discussed regarding recreation in the City. This discussion centers around the joint-use opportunities being developed between the City and the Aromas-San Juan Bautista Unified School District. It is the goal of the District and the City to make these public assets more accessible to the community and develop new opportunities. These include basketball, playground and eventually a track and field. This City and its resources belong to its residents, to be shared with the world.

The transparency of the City’s business is important. To that end, the City is investing $50,000 in its Council Chambers so that live attendance at public meetings can resume “hybrid,” with the ability to attend remotely. This contract was signed March 16, 2022. The City continues to use its budgeting software that makes the budget document easy to follow on-line. At City Hall we are doing everything we can to make these treasures easily accessible, by all.

Lastly, we are recruiting for a new City Clerk to be appointed until the election in November. If you, or someone you know wants to be really involved in City Business, we are looking for a good City Clerk to help us out!

Happy Easter and spring to everyone!