Our city is in a deep financial crisis. In the 2020 budget, taxes were raised nearly 8%, six city employees were terminated, and we are carrying a major deficit. Our Moody’s investment outlook has been downgraded for the last few years.
The city needs proper budgeting practices, monthly budget reviews with department heads, continuous evaluation of revenue and expenses–adjustments as needed–eliminating those that are unnecessary. We need financial plans for long-term capital improvements and to end the year with a balanced budget, hopefully a surplus to carry us forward. We have not had a balanced budget or a surplus under the current administration.
Our team will provide financial oversight and operational accountability in the proper preparation of the following year’s budget. We need to bridge the gap one step at a time. We promise to be transparent with taxpayers and well-organized. We will work diligently to bring our city back to a positive credit rating and restore confidence in the community with how our finances are run.
Revisit Master Plan and Review Zoning Ordinance
A “Master Plan” pertains to the physical development of our city over the long term. A Master Plan has rules for new housing developments and how growth will impact police, schools, and our hospital. Glen Cove’s Master Plan was developed more than ten years ago. We have experienced significant growth since then, necessitating a comprehensive review.
There are glaring inconsistencies in our current zoning ordinances (building codes). These codes need to fit modern-day businesses rather than businesses that were the trend more than twenty years ago and requirements for special use permits. We will hold public outreach events to encourage community engagement that will help shape the plan’s policy and its planning goals. Community support and buy-in are essential.
Infrastructure and Asset Review
Better management and accountability of our municipal resources with a periodic review and plan for the future is essential. An inventory of current buildings, city assets, infrastructure, vehicles, piers, and playgrounds must be developed along with a maintenance plan and schedule for future repairs and replacement dates.
This will eliminate extensive, expensive emergency repairs and the need to borrow money through high-priced bonds such as the $8.9 million bond we just borrowed. Voters should be asking why our city needed to borrow at all on top of a huge tax hike. Our team will ensure there are plans for capital improvements and allocate a portion of ongoing tax revenues for construction and renovation.
Small Business Development
We recognize the contribution of small businesses to economic opportunity and reducing unemployment, especially for women, minorities, and veterans. We plan to focus on the downtown area, one section at a time, looking at façade refurbishment, then attracting new businesses to the area. We will encourage the utilization of any available grants.
We will work to attract small and family-friendly businesses. All levels of government in our city must simplify and expedite their processes, programs, and regulations, easing the path to business development. Reviewing and revamping our zoning ordinances will help this.
Additionally, we need to find ways to help existing businesses develop new connection points. We will hold periodic small business roundtables to help keep your business moving into the future and will work to determine what your needs are and do everything possible to meet them. We will promote smart business development here, not hinder it.
Additionally, we will:
Provide leadership and support to all City departments and employees by ensuring adherence to existing policies and best practices. This will help to avoid the costly lawsuits the current administration is involved in.
Offer our pledge of support to First Responders. We fully support first responders who, at great risk to their well-being, are dedicated to the safety of all Glen Cove residents.
Return city government to constituents via transparency, communication, and open dissemination of public information.
Improve quality of life, seek compliance on code issues.
Eliminate improper RFP (Request For Proposal) practices and ensure that all governmental procedures are handled ethically. Ensure that personnel matters and contractual situations are resolved to eliminate the excessive number of costly lawsuits that have become the norm during the current administration.
Develop a partnership between Mayor and School Superintendent. The Mayor will serve in an advocacy role and students would have access to our government.