I promised voters and residents of Bedford from day one I would do everything that I promised to deliver and would only stop when the work was done or if the voters decided I was done. I am here to tell you there is much work still to do. With your support, WE can continue to build a better, brighter Bedford.
In 2012 code enforcement was a hot topic. Although still an issue the council dedicated time to update ordinances and empower our staff to “get it taken care of.” In fact, one perennial problem property was demolished, and another complied with a major cleanup effort. The council also passed strict ordinances regulating code on apartment complexes and passed a tiered system for compliance. Code enforcement will always be an area of concern. You can be assured that I will continue to press for common sense code enforcement and items that make the city look better.
I promised fixes in our infrastructure, and the city applied for low interest loan funds to replace almost every sewer and water pipe in the city. We worked hard to secure a 90-million-dollar low interest loan. This will no doubt save us money in the long run, but also means many of our streets will be re-paved at the very least. This program also calls for automated water meter technology allowing you to see use in real time and saving the city hundreds of thousands in water that is currently being delivered without cost.
When it came to budget, you could always count on me for the most common sense approach to delivering the necessary services at the least expense to the taxpayer. Not afraid to go against staff recommendations and not afraid to offer alternatives including outsourcing, even if it meant reductions in staff. We held the tax rate for two years and lowered them almost $.02 last year. Although your taxes may not have decreased due to home value increases this reduction gave every homeowner some tax relief. This past year I lobbied hard to maintain our current tax rate (meaning do not lower it), which would have allowed us to for pay police body cams and other capital items with cash versus issuing short term debt.
Economic Development is a perennial campaign topic. I am proud of our Economic Development team and the creative ways that we go about economic development. I am proud, too, to welcome Sherwin Williams to the city. This is a store that I personally worked with to find a home here in Bedford. I am also proud of “raising the bar” in the city when it comes to signage. Part of economic development is not just what you bring to the city, but how your city looks and the product you offer. I led the charge on new common sense signage ordinances that rid the city of unappealing neon around windows, portable signs, and real estate signs that often gave more sign space to the broker than what the tenant is allowed. This has made a truly better, brighter Bedford.
In recent years, thanks to the efforts of the late, great, Ray Champney, Bedford has made a big push to become a cultural destination. Welcoming the arts with artist showcases, Arts Fest and our storefront galleries, Bedford is again paving the way for other cities to follow our lead. Much of the cultural revival is centered around the completion of phase 1 of the Boys Ranch Park. I can’t say we saved any time (it rained for 7 months), but the renovation is beautiful and we need to move on with Phase Next. We must get Bedford Commons off the ground, as it is a critical piece of our cultural development and for the future of Bedford. My leadership will help push these projects forward.