When I received Mayor Moore’s most recent “Brea Net” eNewsletter, my initial reaction was to take issue with a few of his comments. Roy and I have enjoyed a lengthy and spirited relationship over the years and, I’m sure, respect each other’s opinions.
One statement jumped out at me immediately, his perception that some people are prone to only criticize. While it isn’t difficult to understand how he might feel this way, I also know that most of those speaking out and holding council and staff accountable share Roy’s love and concern for this community. Out of deference to them all, but especially to Roy, here is his Thanksgiving message to the people he serves.
I was recently invited by the Brea Republican Women’s Federation to give an update on the state of the City of Brea. Afterward I was thinking Brea really is a great place to live and work. It is Thanksgiving week when Americans give thanks for their many blessings as they gather together with family and friends. One of our blessings is we live in Brea.
Today, when some look to criticize our city at every opportunity, let us look at the facts. Brea is not the perfect city. It also has its problems.
When compared to many cities in Orange County which have deficit budgets, are rapidly spending their General Fund reserves, postponing capital expenditure projects, laying off employees and considering outsourcing services, Brea is doing very well.
Brea has survived the recession with balanced budgets for this year and the next. Our General Fund reserves have increased during this period. Our bond rating was recently upgraded to AA. By reacting early we were able to reduce our labor force by attrition, retirements and reorganization without resorting to layoffs.
Brea continues to have an active Capital Improvement Program upgrading streets, traffic safety enhancements, storm drains, sewers and water improvements. Recent examples being the resurfacing of Elm Street, Puente Avenue and currently St. College Blvd.
Public Safety has always been our number one priority. The recent Fire Department reorganization, where we combined the Fire Administration functions with Fullerton’s, has proven successful. Our new ladder truck has been retrofitted to add a water pumping capability. Just this week we added three new police officers to serve our community.
Businesses continue to look positively toward Brea. This past week I attended the ribbon cutting for the renovated Brea Plaza Shopping Center. Eighteen new businesses opened at the center. The amazing thing is this renovation and the Market Place renovation (Target, Sprout’s Market) were accomplished during the recession. Businesses continue to open in the Downtown with Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor planning on opening in December. Manufacturing and commercial businesses look to locate in Brea because of its relatively small decline in housing values, lower unemployment and cooperative city government. Armada, a laser manufacturer, will soon move into the large Sekisui facility on Puente Avenue.
Although the survival of California’s redevelopment agencies remain in question as we wait for the California Supreme Court’s decision in January, we hope to complete three major projects in the near future: 1) The Tracks, a four mile hiking/biking trail utilizing the abandoned railroad right-of-way, 2) a parking garage located in the parking lot behind the former Tower Record building, and 3) a community facility to be built on the Birch Hills Golf Course.
Add to the above our Community Center, Sports Park, Senior Center, excellent schools and many other amenities and Breans have much to be thankful for. One of them is our annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Please plan to join me at the Civic Center, December 8 at 6:30 p.m.
May you have a very blessed Thanksgiving. Moore next time,
This is Roy’s 591st eNewsletter, which means he has shared current events and provided insight into Brea issues just about every ten days since first taking office over 12 years ago. Name one other elected Brea official who has been that diligent in openly communicating with their constituency.
For that matter… name one other elected Brea official. Probably ninety-five percent of Brea’s residents would have a tough time answering that question. Sad.
If you’re not receiving Roy’s eNewsletter, you can simply email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Brea Net” in the subject line.
Yeah, I think we could be doing some things better, smarter, more efficiently, but Roy’s right. We also have a lot for which to be thankful.
I’m thankful for the reminder.