Each year brings new challenges, new success stories and unfortunately, new problems for the City, 2017 will be no different. Despite everyone’s best efforts, water lines will still break, fires will destroy property (typically in the middle of the night); as long as it rains in the desert, there will always be floods; traffic jams and accidents will continue to happen on our streets; public hearings will always pit individual property owner rights against neighborhood demands; the list goes on and on. We can’t make the challenges go away or the problems stop; we can only do our best to prepare for them and try to mitigate the damages and negative impacts to the maximum extent possible.
As I have said before, the City Council and Staff constantly strive to provide high quality public services and meet the demands of an ever changing municipal environment. Safe water and sanitation for public health; safe roads and bridges for transportation and commerce; flood protection and drainage structures to protect people and property; police, fire and emergency services personnel to aid residents and keep them safe; building officials to enforce codes and standards; an assessable city administration and fair justice court services; high quality parks, trails and recreation programs to encourage healthy residents; all of these services are vital for a safe, healthy community and the reality is, none of these services are free.
Many residents take these services for granted, but the City Council and Staff takes this work very seriously. Countless hours are spent trying to determine the most efficient and best way to achieve these services with the limited public funds available. I appreciate the dedicated members of the City Council and all of the employees of the City for their efforts in keeping Santa Clara a great place to live. Despite the challenges, every year there are success stories. In 2016, we successfully expanded Gubler Park, witnessed the opening of our first major commercial grocery store, finished the Highway 91 road, drainage and pedestrian safety project, had one of the most successful Swiss Days celebrations in history, maintained a safe public drinking water system, expanded the recreational access to the South Hills and avoided a major natural disaster. But, we also had several major water line breaks and outages, lost several homes to fires forcing families to be temporarily uprooted, suffered a kidnapping and resulting murder of one of our residents, and continued efforts to mitigate a devastating land-slide threatening homes and property.
Looking forward, I can only promise the City will continue to do our best to keep residents and property safe, and maintain the quality of life and services the citizens have come to expect in Santa Clara. If you see a problem and need help, let us know. The City really does care about you and your family’s needs. If you want to help within the community, let someone at the City know. There are always volunteer opportunities for citizens who would like to get involved, from serving on the Planning Commission to helping with Swiss Days, to being a volunteer fireman, to helping with an Eagle Scout Project. With your help and support, we can work together to make this community the best it can be in 2017.
Happy New Year Santa Clara, and remember to stay safe!
Mayor Rick Rosenberg