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Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle Delivers Annual State of the City Address
ANAHEIM, CA - (January 27, 2009) - Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle today delivered his annual State of the City Address to an audience of more than 800 community and business leaders.  At the sold-out event, the Mayor introduced new policy initiatives, gave updates on key city programs, and applauded residents, businesses and city leaders on the progress made in Anaheim.

Since Mayor Pringle took office in 2002, the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce has hosted an annual luncheon where the Mayor speaks with leaders in the private and public sector about the state of the City’s affairs and announces major new policy ideas.  Past policy announcements have included a business and homeowners tax holiday, a ban on the city’s use of eminent domain to increase tax revenues, and the creation of a monorail system for the Resort Area. 

Highlights from the 2009 State of the City Address follow, and the complete transcript can be viewed at www.anaheim.net.

"Our state and national economy have slowed down greatly.  Our budget is being squeezed, and so we have cut back, and will continue to reduce our city expenditures.  We will tap into our city’s general fund reserve, which was built up in the good times for just this reason.  It is times like these that test leaders and communities.  But when you plan well, you are able to come through the toughest of times.  Therefore, I can assure you, that in looking at the complete picture of Anaheim today, the State of the City is good, and we will successfully navigate these turbulent waters and will be prepared for the great successes ahead!"

"Transportation, one of the bedrocks of our state’s success, was a big winner as the people approved $9 billion to launch a High Speed Rail system (passage of Proposition 1A in November).  The first spur of which will be a high speed connection from Anaheim to downtown Los Angeles.

"As I promised last year at this time, we moved forward in planning for ARTIC, the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center.  Time and time again, we learn the lesson that the swift movement of people and goods is a cornerstone of economic growth, and the investment in our Anaheim station in expanding Metrolink service and high speed rail will continue to place Anaheim at the forefront of this movement."

"Last January I also called for the creation of the Anaheim Center for New Energy Technologies, AC-NET, to create a public-private partnership between venture capital, technology leaders, the city, and Cal State Fullerton, to make Anaheim a leader in the development and deployment of an emerging growth industry, clean and efficient energy technologies.  [We launched the] Clean Tech Business Plan competition, challenging college students and entrepreneurs from around Southern California to submit ideas for new businesses in the area of new energy and water technologies.  The final competition and selection of winners will take place in conjunction with Cal State Fullerton on April 15."

"California is facing its third critically dry year in a row.  Major reservoirs around the state are at all-time lows and court-ordered restrictions on moving water from Northern California to Central and Southern California mean we have to do more with less.  With new mandates for conservation coming from Sacramento and regional governments, and the lack of political will at the same time to create more storage, a coming water crisis is very real, and not in the distant future.

"The pressure in all these new edicts is for water retailers like the City of Anaheim to restrict, to ration, to mandate, and to punish or fine water users.  We prefer incentives and reward rather than punishment.  We will launch a demonstration project here in our own downtown that will showcase the latest in water recycling and water reclamation.  Near City Hall, we will build a water recycling demonstration project to serve City Hall and the businesses and parks and public landscaping near the facility."

"The Resort continues to grow, with the on-going expansion plans for Disney’s California Adventure, new hotels in the planning and entitlement phases, our thriving restaurants and bowling center in the new Anaheim GardenWalk. 

"In the Canyon Business Center, we have residential units under construction, bringing a new vibrancy to one of the region’s major employment centers.  And the Platinum Triangle will see over a thousand new residential units open this year, and new retail and restaurants to boot.  In our Downtown area, new Anaheim residents are moving into a number of beautiful new residential projects.  Along with that, new retail has opened in the CIM project, meeting the needs of the employers and residents living there."

"And finally, who can say that there was not a more proud moment for Anaheim in the last year than the performance of our U.S. Men’s Olympic Volleyball team?

"Now if you haven’t heard, [coach] Hugh [McCutcheon] has taken on a new role.  He has left the Men’s team – and has taken on the challenge of coaching the USA Women’s National team as they look to the 2012 Olympics.

"But there’s just one problem.  Just about all the ingredients for a 2012 London Gold Medal recipe are in place, save one.  You see, the Women’s team is still based in Colorado Springs. 

"Hugh, if we get everyone in this room committed to moving the Women’s team to Anaheim this year, would you be up for it?"

"We can all be proud that Anaheim is known as a policy leader and innovator, not afraid to shake up the status quo of how cities and governments do things.  That’s why last year, we commissioned J.D. Power and Associates to perform a customer satisfaction survey in the city.  We talked to people who interacted with our police department, our public utility department, and our planning and building department.  We now have a roadmap on where and how we can improve, and we have established a benchmark against which we can measure how we do in the future, and whether or not we are progressing."

"Another area where we can clearly do better is the use of technology to improve customer service, across city departments.  In the era we live in, people expect that they can do business online.  This year in Anaheim, we will assemble a Mayor’s Technology Advisory Committee to advise us on how we become the most technologically advanced, innovative, and user-friendly city out there.  I have already begun to invite leaders and pioneers in many fields to join the Committee."

"At the end of the day, the economy is not about national recessions and global financial crises.  It is about local businesses and our Anaheim residents.  And most importantly, about finding a good job to provide for your family.  Even in this economy, there are thousands of job seekers and jobs to be had, but they have trouble connecting.  I believe we must assist the WIB (Work Investment Board) to make it effective in putting Anaheim back to work.  The top 20 employers in Anaheim have agreed to post all their job listings on the new Anaheimjobs.com website."

"I have been proud of much of what we’ve accomplished here, but one of many areas in which we have led is in the desire to build, and in fact restore a sense of community. The same guiding principles that make Anaheim a great city apply whether the times are booming or not. We acknowledge that there is clearly a role for government to play in making our community successful, but its main purpose should be in a supporting role. The true definition of the American Dream…is that everyone has their own definition of the American Dream. We cannot through government action make peoples’ dreams come true. We can only create an environment in which families and entrepreneurs, children from wealth or from limited means, dream seekers, big and small, can have a shot at success.

"In the planning world, we’ve been through new urbanism and post-new urbanism and the latest theories of community design. One interesting trend is the greater realization that, when planning housing and neighborhoods and job centers and the like, we cannot forget community and even sacred spaces. Space for public squares, churches, and so much more than just the housing-jobs mix is what makes developments become a community in the truest sense of the word.

"In that regard, even as we plan to adjourn from this meeting, I would like to invite you to join me in March for a very special conference I am hosting called the Restoring Community Conference. Held here in Anaheim, this conference will feature some of the leading thinkers in planning and design of communities, including many who have developed the latest thinking of preserving beauty and sacred spaces in community design. The conference will be on March 13 at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, and it will be a really special day."

"As your Mayor, I view this annual gathering as my annual recommitment to you that the only reason I hold this position is to focus on a vision of a better Anaheim, and I sincerely thank you for the honor it is to serve you."
Media Contact: Ruth Ruiz 714.765.5060more city news


ABOUT ANAHEIM –The City of Anaheim, founded in 1857, is one of the nation's premier municipalities and is one of California's most populous and most visited cities. Anaheim covers 50 square miles with more than 351,000 residents and more than 2,900 City employees. The municipal corporation's annual budget is $1.7 billion. Anaheim supports a thriving business community with companies such as: Carl Karcher Enterprises, Inc.; L-3 Communications; Pacific Sunwear; and Disneyland Resort. Successful sports franchises call Anaheim home, including: Angels Baseball; Anaheim Ducks; the U.S. Men's National Volleyball Team, and the 2012 Olympic Games Silver Medal winning U.S. Women's National Volleyball Team. Anaheim also boasts world-class meeting and entertainment venues with: The Anaheim Convention Center, LEED-certified and the largest on the west coast; Honda Center; City National Grove of Anaheim; Anaheim GardenWalk; Angel Stadium of Anaheim; and ARTIC (Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center). In addition, Anaheim embraces its vibrant cultural arts community, including the world-renowned Anaheim Ballet. Annually, Anaheim welcomes more than 20 million visitors to the City, truly making it where the world comes to live, work and play. For more information, please visit www.anaheim.net.


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