Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Citrus Heights

The new city has done well and those that have followed are also, leading several other efforts that are at various stages, all of which results in less money to the county and restricted funding for its programs; which bring us to the Parkway and accepting the realization that the county can not effectively manage it financially, nor have they for the past several years.

The model of subsidiarity established by Citrus Heights (management as close to the managed entity as possible often works best) could also be followed with the Parkway by having a nonprofit manage it as has been done with another local entity, the Sacramento Zoo, and in New York with Central Park, both of which are working very well for their respective public resources.

Nearing 10th birthday, Citrus Heights takes stock
Officials proud of progress since the battle for cityhood.
By Lakiesha McGhee - Bee Staff Writer Published 12:00 am PST Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's been nearly a decade since Citrus Heights ditched its status as a faceless suburb in unincorporated Sacramento County to become the region's newest city.

Resident Bill Van Duker recalls a 12-year battle that brought emotions from anger to despair to exhilaration.

"We wanted to control our own destiny and become our own city so we can not only govern ourselves but participate in regional boards and agencies on our behalf," he said.

The fight for independence from the county went as far as the U.S. Supreme Court. Eventually, Citrus Heights residents voted on the issue and the city incorporated Jan. 1, 1997.

As Citrus Heights prepares a yearlong celebration of its 10-year anniversary, city leaders are basking in their accomplishments and looking at the challenges ahead.

City officials say they have a strong financial base with a $54 million budget and $30 million in reserves. However, the city is built out, has little room for population growth and is competing with surrounding communities for retail dollars to protect its sales tax revenues.

Mayor Jeannie Bruins, who was part of the incorporation effort, said the city has taken monumental steps toward financial security and community identity.

It has severed most agreements with Sacramento County, including four major contracts since 2005 for waste management, law enforcement, street lighting and transportation maintenance.