This is the year of opportunities.
That was the message shared during the Artesia Chamber of Commerce's Aug. 16 "State of the City" luncheon, where Mayor John Lyon and City Manager Maria Dadian spoke to local businesses owners about the cities current financial state and economy.
While guests were treated to tasty Mexican food, some encouraging words were shared, first, by the city's mayor on what he calls the “Year of Opportunities.” Despite the state abolishing redevelopment agencies, Lyon takes pride in Artesia's fortitude and ability to get by with what it has.
“For every ending, there comes a new beginning,” Lyon said.
However, the mayor admitted that the city has had to make the “toughest decision we've had to make” in light of the state's budgeting: cutting back on staff.
“The city council is united in making these decisions,” Lyon said.
He ended his comments by saying the greatest resource the city has is its people.
Dadian took the floor and said the past year has been a challenge, with staff down to 24 people and 10 percent cuts in every department. However, like Lyon, Dadian said everyone was united in making these hard decisions. One of the ways in which the city is making some changes, is through an increase in the city's business license tax.
“We're trying to stabilize the city's general fund,” Dadian said. “Artesia has always done a good job to take care of themselves.”
Present at the meeting was candidate for the 58th Assembly District, Cristina Garcia it's important to help find funds for cities and bring in more revenue.
“I think the issue of finding funds for infrastructure is necessary,” Garcia said.
Click here to learn more about joining the Artesia Chamber of Commerce and for information on future events hosted by the organization.
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS
Do you agree with city leadership's message of optimism? Or do you think more troubling days are ahead? What do you think needs to be done to help the City of Artesia get back on its feet in the aftermath of the loss of redevelopment agency funding?