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New mayor details her goals in office

Opinion: The Reilly Factor


New mayor details her goals in office.

January 19, 2003
by Emily Reilly

Many of you have asked whatís on my to-do list .
While my list will be changing dynamically throughout the year as
problems and opportunities present themselves, I would like to share
a few priorities that I will focus on during my tenure as mayor.
1. The budget;
2. Ongoing projects; and
3. Participation.
First on my to-do list is to balance that budget, remembering at all
times to make my decisions based on our communityís values. Iím
determined to do it and I know I share that resolve with my
colleagues. We will work to craft a plan that reduces our general-fund
expenses by several million dollars a year. This will require reductions
in all services, substantial cutbacks in others and the elimination of
some programs. This will be a painful task, but it hasnít come as a
surprise. We will make these decisions based on our cityís values,
doing our best to protect those who have the most urgent need. We
will remember to plan for the future, to realize a Santa Cruz that
achieves its goals of sustainability.
Next on my to-do list is to pay close attention to those projects that
are already in the works, that have their funding, as well as finding a
way to continue to fund programs we value and support. Some of
those include Depot Park, the senior housing on Gault Street, the
transit districtís central operating facility, the Nueva Vista apartments
in Beach Flats, the housing on Pacific Avenue and Shafer Road,
accessory dwelling units, the challenge of providing homeless
services, the Master Transportation Study, the renovation of the
Pogonip Clubhouse, integrated pest management, recycling efforts,
our evolving relationship with UCSC, figuring out how to plant more
trees I wonít be bored!
And maybe most importantly are the things I can do as mayor, as a
council member, as a business owner, and as a resident to protect
Santa Cruz during these difficult times.
One of the things that makes Santa Cruz the magical place I want to
live is our downtown. Itís the heart of Santa Cruz, brought back to
life after the earthquake through the dedication of so many. So what
can I do to protect downtown? Well, I can shop there. I can go to
the movies. I can eat dinner out once in a while. But the most
important thing I can do is visit downtown. I can activate the space
by walking, smiling and speaking to everyone I see. I can pick up the
trash when I see it.
Every one of us, whether shopping, performing, panhandling, working
or just hanging out, can make a difference in someoneís day and in
the tone and energy of Pacific Avenue. We canít wait for government
to do it for us. If our downtown is clean and friendly, if we show by
example that this is a place where people care about each other,
respect each other and support each other, we will survive and our
businesses will flourish.
I can shop locally. Itís more than a catch phrase. California cities
donít have a lot of options when it comes to raising revenue.
Sales-tax income really matters. Letís all try to find it in Santa Cruz
first, remembering that the Eastside, the Westside, River Street and
the wharf sell stuff, too!
What can I do to protect our neighborhoods? The single most useful
thing I can do about that is to drive the speed limit. I canít cure
congestion. I canít stop cut-through traffic, but I can drive the speed
limit. Driving the speed limit slows the speeding traffic. Driving the
speed limit quiets the traffic. Driving the speed limit allows us all
motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, children, seniors and those with
disabilities, to move around more comfortably, more safely, and that
improves our quality of life. We have to do it. We canít wait for
government to do it for us.
What else can I do? I can adopt the utility poles near where I live
and work and keep them clean. I can adopt the storm drains near
where I live and where I work and keep them free from debris. Iíve
got to accept some of the responsibility for these things myself. The
city government is just not going to be able to do it for me, and you
know what? I will feel better about my community and myself when I
do that when I take some small action, when I take control and
improve some small thing.
What else can I do, as the mayor? One thing Iím looking forward to is
working with other mayors, council members and county supervisors
to find some regional solutions to our problems. Iím also excited at the
opportunity to reach out to businesses and invite them to relocate
here. I can be welcoming and work with businesses and with the
university as we learn to develop partnerships.
Iím honored and overjoyed at the opportunity to serve as your mayor
for this year. I intend to celebrate this remarkable community and to
have fun. I encourage you to call, write or e-mail me at City Hall. I
have office hours almost every day. Together we can survive these
tough times and have a good time doing it. Your support, your
suggestions, your criticisms and your love and ideas are vital.
This will not be a year of grandiose plans and sweeping changes.
Often the most satisfying accomplishments are those we achieve
though sheer grit and determination, by using our creativity to find
ways to do things inexpensively and to make tough times look easy.
Iím confident we can do it. Thanks for asking me.
Contact Santa Cruz Mayor Emily Reilly at ereilly (at)
To set up an office-hour appointment, call 420-5020, or leave a
voicemail message at 420-5022


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Reilly: Enemy of the People

Nothing good has ever come out of Reilly in office. She should go back to baking rather than lying about paying her workers a living wage, passing ordinances against the poor and street musicians, and supporting a repressive police department.


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