We are truly blessed to call Fullerton home and I’m honored to lead our community this year as your Mayor.
People like all of us believe in our community so much we devote our time and energy to ensuring its success and future prosperity, not just because may be good for our bottom line or because we personally benefit from it, but because we know Fullerton is not just an address, it is a community of value; a city rich in heritage, whose people are diverse, whose businesses thrive, where people of faith and good will constantly join together to meet local needs.
That’s what I want to share with you-just how far our city has come as a result of all of us working together to make our community the best it can be! The city’s theme this year is “Excellence in Service.” The late Arthur Ashe was not only a World Tennis Champion but also a world class humanitarian and he stated simply, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” And that is what we are doing here in Fullerton.
Today’s Fullerton is characterized by accomplishments in the areas of economic development, infrastructure and transportation, public safety, and quality of life. It’s a big list, but before we dig in, we need to cover some of the basics that are important to the foundational health of Fullerton– our budget and pension liability. I know…it’s time to ask for a refill on your coffee, but I promise if you stay with me, this presentation will get more fun!
Through sound financial management by our staff and this City Council – our City’s General Fund reserve balance is a very healthy $13.6 million, significantly higher than the Council’s 10% reserve policy.
After struggling through the recession, this is an incredible accomplishment. We’ve built this reserve through our strong and well-diversified tax base of residential, commercial and industrial properties. And we’ve simply gotten out of the way and allowed investment to happen in Fullerton.
While the economic outlook of Fullerton remains positive, we are mindful of balancing the increasing and competing needs for services against the limited resources available. We are effectively addressing our city’s retirement liabilities. Every public agency in California is dealing with this issue and in Fullerton, we are demonstrating our commitment to fully fund our future obligations. We recently received confirmation that our funded level is now at 83% for our largest employee group, up from a funded level of 67% just 5 years ago.
The point here is that this Council is very sensitive to not just keep public retirement benefits in check but we are also relentless in our commitment to responsible stewardship of the City’s current finances. Ok, on to the exciting world of business, transportation, public safety, housing and parks!