Mayor Williams' letter to City Council
January 6, 2011
Dear Madame President and Members of Council:
The City, going into 2011, is facing some financial difficulty. This should not come as a surprise to anyone. The surplus that we ended 2009 with was our saving grace. Now, with that surplus fund exhausted, we begin the task of navigating our way through the budget process to determine our course of action for 2011.
The first determination that must be made is the forecasted income for the City. This will be determined by the Treasurer’s Office and the Auditor’s Office. This, or course, will determine the amount that can be appropriated and spent.
At the beginning of the process, the information that comes forth may seem to be overwhelming and insurmountable. However, with that said, I believe as time goes on we will work our way through this situation and, once again, survive as we have in the past. This is not to say that it will be easy; quite to the contrary, it will be at times very difficult.
I firmly believe that the Administration, Council and other office holders will work together and conduct ourselves, as we have in the past, to find solutions to the challenges that lie ahead. This is not to say that there will not be differences of opinion; there will be, and that is conducive to finding answers. As I told Council during the last Council meeting of 2010, that not only as a mayor but as a citizen how proud I am of this City for the way we have conducted our affairs through these financially challenging times. Some local governments have, in my opinion, conducted themselves in, shall we say, a less than positive manner.
The City, as in the past, will continue to pursue new development. The CRA is an excellent incentive to not only retain businesses but to expand. Bringing in new business is a very competitive endeavor. We must not only compete with other local government entities but with other states as well. With the economy at the bottom, we continue to promote our City while pursuing new development. In August of 2010, we held a business summit at Xavier University ‘s Cintas Center. In attendance were the Economic Development Director from the State of Ohio, a Representative from the Port Authority, and the Hamilton County Development Corporation. Also in attendance were commercial real estate developers. The meeting was a success. Some conversation that took place will, I believe, translate into new business for Norwood. This, to my knowledge, was the first time the City has ever held this type of business promotional function.
We have been able to successively promote new development. The Urology Group began construction on their new 15 million dollar facility located at Sanker Blvd. And Section Avenue. Additionally, New Properties will be developing the NORCO site. Although I cannot go into specifics, I believe we will have additional development during the year 2011. It has been our policy not to discuss any potential development until the plans are final and the developer agrees to release the information. We continue to have discussions with potential developers to promote development in our City.
The Administration will continue to take every measure to not only save money but to reduce our operating cost while continuing to pursue and work with developers.
Thomas F. Williams, Mayor
City of Norwood