I pledged to emphasize strong public finances, as mayor. Amid the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, my administration is both advocating for federal and state assistance, and finding savings locally.
Applying my background in employee benefits, Lakewood is on course to save more than $100,000 in benefits over the next 12 months. The city has also saved more than $300,000 overtime this year, compared to 2019.
Between disrupted economic conditions, and delayed tax filing deadlines, estimating an eventual budget shortfall is difficult but we are taking no chances. We have reduced payroll further, through voluntary furloughs, while avoiding layoffs, and placed projects on hold where possible to protect the city’s bond rating.
While tough work remains ahead, all of Lakewood can be proud of how city departments have stepped forward with a get-through-this-together spirit.
I am excited to begin contributing short pieces to The Lakewood Observer from time to time, to offer insight for Lakewoodites into issues currently happening at City Hall or important ideas I’d like to communicate to the community. I’m grateful for this forum and I intend it to start ongoing conversations.
During my campaign for the Mayor’s Office last year and since getting elected, you have probably heard me talk about my priorities for city government: Safety, Neighborhoods, Environment, and Disciplined Finances. In this first edition of the Mayor’s Corner I want to talk a bit about Finances.
Remarks following my official swearing-in today as Mayor of Lakewood:
This has come full circle for me. Sixteen people have served as mayor since the City of Lakewood’s incorporation. I am the first person in Lakewood’s history to have seen her parent carry the honor & burden of this office and then serve as a mayor in her own right.
First, I’d like to say: thank you residents of Lakewood. I am honored by the faith you have shown in me and am ready for the work ahead.
I’ve homed in on a few themes that are important to me and I’ve heard Lakewood say are important to you as well: Responsibility, Opportunity, and Unity.