University Heights is at a crossroad; we can move forward or fall behind

It will take sound vision, close attention to detail, proactive management, and strong oversight to maintain the quality and character of University Heights and to avoid the unintended effects that changing demographics, region-wide population loss, and tough economic times bring to a community.

To this end, the UH Charter Review Commission carefully examined and weighed opportunities to improve upon the way our City operates, and made a number of recommendations to amend the Charter which will appear on the November ballot.  The recommendations range from correcting grammatical errors and eliminating the potential for nepotism to establishing the position of City Administrator who is selected and supervised by the Mayor.

The overwhelming majority of the Charter Review Commission (10 to1) concluded after eight months of dedicated work that the advantages of the proposed amendments far exceed any reasonable objection that has been raised, including cost, which will be off-set through cost savings resulting from efficiencies realized in operations and services.

Our city is facing many real and present challenges that require immediate attention, including the need to:

  1. Reverse deficits and negative financial trends.
  2. Fund the equipment and facilities necessary to provide quality services to residents.
  3. Identify the means to replace, repair, improve, and maintain the City’s streets, curbs, sidewalks, and water and sewer lines without tax increases.
  4. Work to revitalize and make higher use of our business district, as well as work to preserve and improve our housing stock in order to attract and keep homeowners.
  5. Explore opportunities for inter-jurisdictional cooperation as a way to cut costs.

My foremost concern as a resident and member of City Council is making University Heights the best possible place to live, and doing my best to ensure the growth, prosperity, and attractiveness of the City.  Is the City in crisis or has it reached a point of no return? No, not yet!

Still, things are not as good as many seem to believe. Given the economic and political realities of our region, cities can no longer afford the indulgence of inefficient operations, lapses in focus, or a failure to plan.

We can move forward or fall behind. We must be innovative and constantly look for new ways of doing things. This is why I believe that now is the time to put a trained professional in charge of the day-to-day affairs of the City.  For the future of University Heights, I urge you to vote YES on UH Charter Initiatives - Issues 88-97, giving particular attention to Issue 92.

 

Steven Sims
Councilman
City of University Heights

Read More on Letters To The Editor
Volume 2, Issue 10, Posted 12:53 PM, 10.09.2009