Westminster’s budget deficit has me, like the rest of our residents, concerned for the future of our City. While sitting at the Westminster General Plan Update meeting on Saturday, I heard the public and our General Plan Advisory Committee’s worry that some of the goals and objectives outlined within the document would be placed on indefinite hold due to a lack of funding. Our city cannot afford to stay stagnant. We need to keep working to make our goals into reality.
When I lead the effort to draft the Westminster General Plan and Parks Master Plan four years ago, our City’s financial situation was far less dire. Today, with a $12 million structural deficit, we face a dim reality – we need to do more with less.
As I listened to the Committee’s concerns, my wheels got turning. How can we take all of this nervous energy and channel it into a mechanism that can propel Westminster toward a stronger future? And then it hit me – I would appoint an Economic Development Action Task Force.
Businesses boost us all. They provide jobs for our residents. They assist in cleaning up our neighborhood’s streets. And most importantly, they provide much needed tax revenue for the City. Attracting new business to Westminster should be our top priority – and I intend to make it so.
That is why I asked my fellow Councilmembers to consider a motion that would create a task force meant solely to explore attracting new business and new revenue to the City of Westminster. Thankfully, this motion passed unanimously at our last City Council meeting. At no cost to the taxpayer, this committee will shift the focus away from the planning process and place it squarely on implementation.
While the General Plan is our blueprint to the Westminster of the future, finding a means of implementing these lofty goals is paramount to the General Plan’s success.
With this new motion, we will shift the focus of the General Plan Advisory Committee to that of boosting the economy through acting on the Economic Development Action Task Force. Since all members are voluntary, they will cost the City nothing, and bring us all immeasurable returns.
The Task Force will provide guidance to City staff at strategic milestones in the General Plan’s implementation process and assist in the implementation of the General Plan’s goals, policies and objectives. They will bring view points and perspectives for the community’s various stakeholder groups into the decision-making process, and assist us in developing creative solutions to our budget shortfall.
Through this group, we can ensure that the lofty goals outlined within our General Plan are not lost or forgotten. It shows that although we have limited finances, our City will not remain stagnant. As a Councilmember I have worked hard to bring much needed services to our city at little to no cost to the taxpayer. This Task Force is one more example of that creative thinking – the creative thinking that will protect our City’s vitality throughout this budget crisis.
I urge my fellow councilmembers and the community to support this new Task Force and apply for a position to help make Westminster stronger. Together we can do more with less. To showcase your support for the creation of the Westminster Economic Development Task Force or apply for a position on the group email firstname.lastname@example.org.