With the LRT Municipal Consent far behind us (read more here and here), the Council has been focusing on long range planning. In order to identify tangible goals and achieve them, we have to first establish a vision for the city. Where do we want to go as a community? How do we get there? What is great about Crystal, what do we want to preserve or improve? What works for us, and what doesn’t? These are some of the questions involved in this process, and the discussion so far has been fruitful. Currently, we have identified several areas of focus:
Productive working relationships
The Council and the city manager, along with senior staff, should have a unified vision and maintain a sharp focus on agreed upon goals. We are already blessed with strong leadership both on the Council and among the Staff. We enjoy working together, and strive to cultivate relationships of mutual respect and understanding. This foundation is critical to the overall health of our city- most, if not all, of what we want to accomplish flows from this point. We want to strengthen this foundation further to ensure productivity.
Fiscally stable future
One of the ways in which we can help eliminate wasteful spending is to plan for a debt free future. Debt servicing is costly, and it’s a shame to lose money when, with proper planning, we could put every dollar to good use. In the same vein, we would like to eliminate the use of special assessments for street maintenance and reconstruction. As demonstrated by the recent Phase 15 Public Hearing, special assessments are a difficult burden for our residents. Compared to projects funded through taxes, this method is also more expensive. We need to establish a funding method that ensures an equitable and well-managed future for our neighborhoods.
Engage more residents in community and city projects
Already, Crystal is fortunate to have a vibrant community of service-oriented individuals. Crystal Fund for Community Progress, Light of Crystal, Lions, and other volunteer organizations are doing valuable and excellent work. We would like to encourage and promote this activity. There are many potential volunteer projects organized by the city, but it is necessary for us to establish a better network with existing groups so we don’t take away from, or duplicate, their efforts. This way, there are more opportunities for residents to get involved, and we can be more productive.
Attract more businesses to Crystal
Creating an atmosphere in which local businesses can thrive requires us to address several ongoing issues. The City Code Task Force is already working to update the Code. Ensuring that it is easy for businesses to actually start here is a must. Public safety, maintaining clean and strong neighborhoods with quality homes and curb appeal- these conditions align together to make our community an attractive place for businesses. It also takes a bold marketing strategy to promote our city, and time.
This is an ongoing discussion- we’ve had one work session dedicated to this topic, with more to come. This is a conversation everyone can participate in, and I welcome your input. Please don’t hesitate to call or email me with your thoughts!
In Other News
- We are currently considering establishing quiet zones for the Canadian Pacific railroad crossings at Douglas Drive and West Broadway. Click here for more details.
- A majority of Crystal Council Members signed a letter calling to reform the Met Council. For more information, please read Council Member Kolb’s article here. I was one of the signatories.
- Gene Hackett, our Parks and Recreation Director, has retired after many years in Crystal. We are going to miss her! Read this Sun Post article about her long and rich career with the city.
There are so many things going on this spring! This is an exciting time to get involved.
Arbor Day Park Clean Up
Basset Creek Clean Up
Jail and Bail
Tech Dump Electronics Drop Off
Saturday, May 21, 9am at the Crystal Cove Pool. Paper shredding services provided. Click Here for more information.
Bee friendly flower plant at Becker Park
Planning is in full swing! Check out their website here.
Father’s Day Airport Open House and Fly
Here is their website with more information.