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This morning I attended
State of the Community' address by Mayor Rick Gibbs.
Today is Mayor Gibbs last day on the job as he will hand over the gavel
to Gary Thomasian at tonights City Council Meeting. Rick has done an
outstanding job for us this year, bringing a high level of decorum to
the office, a professional reserve and a business-like attitude. His
tenure helped heal many of the remaining rifts our city suffered as the
result of our council recall from a few years ago.
Rick served as my Vice-Chair a few years back when we worked on the
General Plan Review Committee. With his election to the council, he has
seen to the implementation and/or revision of many of the Land Use Elements
of that plan, a focus on the Housing
Element and especially the Economic Development Element
which was then, and remains, one of the pre-eminent goals of our city.
Incoming Mayor Thomasian also served on that committee as did newly
elected council member Randon Lane. As such, all three probably have a
better understanding of land use issues than most other citys enjoy and
that's good news for us.
Gibbs' address this morning summarized a successful year in the life of
a city. Considering that Murrieta is at the center of the foreclosure
tsunami in Southern California and has attracted an outsize share of
fraudsters and scam artists, the
news out of Murrieta is surprisingly positive. Where other
cities in the region are deciding how many people to lay off and which
services to cut, Murrieta proposed a 2008 budget that took into account
the declining property tax and sales tax revenues and eliminated some $5 million in
spending without cutting people or essential services (are
you listening Sacramento?).
Additional income from a couple of windfalls resulted in resurrection
of some projects and the ability of the City to launch or complete
about $112 million in infrastructure improvements, bridges, overpasses,
etc. These Capitol Improvement Projects (CIP's) are ideal targets for
these windfall funds because they represent one-time expenditures and
don't commit the City to future expenditures when the money
may not be available. (Again, unlike Sacramento where one-time
windfalls are used to fund jobs and projects that require future money
even when none is available).
The key question asked by Mayor Gibbs was "Does this sound like...?"
Meaning, do the plans for the future of Murrieta sound like...Irvine,
Rancho Bernardo, industrial El Segundo? If you were to have a vision
for the city in 5, 10, 20 years, which of those areas would Murrieta
most closely resemble? Stressing the old real estate axiom - location, location, location,
Gibbs suggested that Murrieta occupies an enviable place in the region
with the confluence of the I-15 and I-215. There are 250,000 cars a day
through that area providing exposure and access to nearly 600,000
people in our regional trade area with that number
growing to nearly 793,000 in just 3 years. Gibbs also lauded
the amount of land still available in our city for development
including over 650
acres of prime freeway frontage land not available
Gibbs believes that Southwest
County will lead the economic resurgence not only in our
region but in the state as well given our reputation for Safety (#1
city in Riverside County); the growth in available health care
opportunities; improved infrastructure; the availability of a wide
spectrum of housing from low-income to estate level; and the expansion
of educational offerings from our excellent local school districts to
new venues for higher education. Fueled by a 400% growth in sales tax
revenue and a similar increase in property tax revenues between 2000
and 2007, prudent budgeting should enable the city to weather the
current recession and emerge a stronger entity in "take you pick, 1, 2
or 3 years" down the road, according to the Mayor. But it's inevitable.
The City will continue to do it's job to keep infrastructure ahead of
demand, to keep new business and development fees and rates competitive
and to expand their "Red Team' approach to constantly evaluate
permitting and other requirements to try to make Murrieta more business
friendly and attract quality job growth to the area.
While the presentation is not yet available on-line, I will post a link
to it as soon as the City makes it available.
Wunderlich - Selling Southwest California Homes including
Temecula, Murrieta & The Southern California Wine Country
Remember, Don't wait to buy real
estate - Buy real estate and wait.
' Murrieta 'State of the
Community' address - It's All Good. '
OPINIONS IN THIS
COMMENTARY ARE STRICTLY GENE WUNDERLICH's PERSONAL OPINION. WHILE ANY
REASONABLE &/or RATIONAL PERSON SHOULD AGREE, THESE VIEWS MAY
REFLECT THOSE OF ACTIVERAIN, COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE OR
ANY LOCAL, STATE OR MENTAL INSTITUTION.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.