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Familiar city goals take center stage at workshop Saturday

Water and economic development are expected to remain at the forefront in 2013 as the Claremont City Council evaluates priorities and goals for the year ahead. The public discussion takes place at an 8 a.m. workshop this Saturday, January 12, in the City Council Chamber.

The council established a list of over 35 goals and priorities at its annual priority setting workshop in December 2011. That same list, slightly dwindled down as some of those priorities became reality, appeared before the city council in May. Though noting significant strides with the city’s steps toward water acquisition and plans to further economic development, the council looks forward to more work in these arenas this year, according to Councilmember Sam Pedroza.

“We have stayed true to form when it came to addressing those issues and in return I think saw benefits,” said Mr. Pedroza of the priorities set during his mayorship. “We will continue moving in the right direction.”

Other goals realized in 2012 include furthering economic development, establishing contracts with its police unions and adopting an updated city sustainability plan. Mr. Pedroza noted City Manager Tony Ramos and city staff’s role in helping ensure those goals were achieved, bringing the priorities back to the council 6 months after their adoption to make positive the council was on track.

“It helped us become much more streamlined, and was a valuable way of approaching what really are our priorities,” Mr. Pedroza said.

Mr. Pedroza says that the council will continue in a concentrated direction this year by continuing to focus on big-ticket items like the water acquisition.

“Water is a very big issue that is going to monopolize a lot of our staff time and rightly so because it impacts not only Claremont today, but Claremont in the future,” Mr. Pedroza said. “So in terms of any major stuff, I don’t see us changing course on that.”

However, one new priority Mr. Pedroza would like the council to consider is making Claremont a charter city. Moving Claremont’s status from “general law” to “charter city” would allow more local control and Mr. Pedroza believes more overall efficiency since the city would be able to define its own governing system separate from state laws and regulations.

He noted the perks along with some of the consequences, which would include wrestling with the state to allow charter city status.

“There are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to make [becoming a charter city] happen,” Mr. Pedroza recognized. “I’m bringing it up not as something we need to plan, but something I think the city needs to be discussing. We need to analyze what work will be involved to make something like this happen.”

Other potential priorities include, but are not limited to, a continued focus on financial stability, addressing parking issues at the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, moving forward with the Oak Park Cemetery expansion and the potential renaming of the Claremont Depot to the Judy Wright Depot.

The full list of priorities and goals being discussed this Saturday can be viewed at the city’s website at www.ci.claremont.ca.us. Residents are invited to attend the meeting and provide the council with input. The City Council Chamber is located at 225 W. Second St.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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