In her third State-of-the-City speech since taking office, Mayor Gere cited progress her administration made in 2016 and outlined her plans for this year.
IN her speech, given to an Anacortes Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday, Mayor Gere said she has challenged city staff, “to make the city’s infrastructure maintenance a priority and beautify the community.”
The Mayor said that each year since she took office, the city has added to the city’s reserves, so that now general fund reserves total $9.6 million.
She told the Chamber meeting that the city is exploring the possibility of a two-year budget cycle, which Mayor Gere said could lead to time savings in the second year to allow for other projects such as strategic planning.
One project the Mayor mentioned is a plan for a citywide fiber optic network, which she said could h=enhance life here and allow for business expansion.
Among other things, Gere mentioned that the City Council has formed a new committee to look at housing affordability and community services. The committee hopes to address affordable housing for elders, living-wage families and the homeless. The next meeting of the committee is set for April 7, at 1:30pm in the Council Chambers
The Mayor touched on a review of how to revitalize and beautify the South Commercial area. She said the city is also exploring the purchase of an old cannery on Guemes Channel.
Mayor Gere noted rumblings in town about the need for a community center. She asked the Chamber members, “What would you be willing to do to bring a community center to Anacortes?“