Outgoing Mayor Vicki Warren provides the State of the City Address and takes a look back at 2018.
“For the entire four years that I was on the City Council, behind every decision, every meeting, every step the Council has taken, there has always been the knowledge that the city’s primary source of revenue would soon dry up. For those same four years, Canyon Lake leaders have researched and discussed and explored every possibility to help the city move forward, always with one arm tied behind our backs.
“In 2018, knowing that the city could not continue to move forward with any substantial plans for improving life safety services in such uncertainty, the Council made the bold move of not waiting for the well to run dry and put the vote to extend the funding to the people. An astounding 76 percent of the voters agreed that the funding is essential and the city’s leadership is now able to better plan for the future of the City of Canyon Lake with more certainty. That is a job well done indeed and a major accomplishment in 2018.
“Speaking of budgeting money, Canyon Lake is part of a Joint Powers Authority that funds the local shelter and costs have been rising, putting a pinch on the smooth operations of the shelter. Our animal shelter and services run on a shoestring budget and because the shelter is unable to cut the budget to accommodate the increases (due in large part to the mandatory minimum wage hike), Canyon Lake is looking at taking measures to reduce the very need for services.
“In 2018, the city’s leaders took another bold step, voting to consider mandatory requirements for pet owners designed to decrease the volume of unwanted cats and dogs that end up in our local shelter.
“This year has also been a year of growth for the city’s Code Enforcement Unit. While the number of homes within Canyon Lake city limits has not increased substantially, the number of full-time residents has. What used to be primarily a retirement community, full of vacation homes and part-time residents, now has more full-time families with children and professional workers than our founding fathers could have imagined.
“This is a great thing for Canyon Lake of course, with a more vital and active community within our borders. Unfortunately, a larger full-time population also comes with an increased need for stricter code enforcement.
“The City of Canyon Lake has an incredible Code Enforcement Unit that takes pride in putting the safety of Canyon Lake citizens at the forefront. They have taken the increased enforcement needs in stride and continue to improve operations to provide excellent service to our growing community.
“The 2018 accomplishment I am most proud of though, for our Little Bit of Paradise, are the bonds we have formed with our neighboring communities. Canyon Lake cannot survive, let alone thrive, as an island unto itself. We have some commerce within our boundaries of course but our main sources of entertainment, shopping and employment stretch beyond our borders.
“For many years (beyond counting), our city had been held apart from our surrounding communities, often left in the dark when important socio-economic decisions were being made that affect our own citizens. That has all changed tremendously.
“Over the last several years with a major thrust in 2018, Canyon Lake leaders have made a concerted effort to promote the needs of our citizens beyond our city walls. Your city leaders now work alongside the leaders from those areas where we shop, eat, work and play, to help improve the lives of Canyon Lake’s citizens. Bonds have been formed and Canyon Lake now sits as a friend, working together with our allies in other cities towards a better future. This was an essential step in building our better future.
“Yes indeed, 2018 has been a great year and the outlook is bright for Canyon Lake.”