By Staff Reports
(Victorville) – In a State of the City Address filled with proud exclamations of, “I Am Victorville,” members of the Victorville City Council reported that the City showed positive improvement in several key areas during 2015. Specifically, sales tax revenue has increased, several road improvement and development projects are complete, new business licenses and housing permit requests are up, burglaries are down, and clean up efforts have left the City cleaner.
“We’ve had a good year, and we are looking forward to an even better 2016,” says Gloria Garcia, Mayor of Victorville. “The changes that are happening in our City speak well for today and for generations to come. We can all be proud to say, “I Am Victorville.”
According to Garcia, the City chose the theme, “I Am Victorville” for this year’s State of the City to showcase how our individual contributions make Victorville strong. “We wanted to demonstrate that the character of a city is in the people that live and work here and that we build our community together. In order to do this, we wanted to share stories of people who are making Victorville better,” explains Garcia.
The presentation included video messages from five Victorville residents who are making a difference for our City: La La Jones the manager of Peoples Care, Jessica Oban from Friends of the Victorville City Library, Tim Watts the owner of Victorville Motors, Michael Casanova a City of Victorville heavy equipment operator and Air Force Reservist, and local Boy Scout, Isaac Lehndorfer.
The State of the City, which was presented by the five members of the Victorville City Council, focused on public support, well-maintained community, community development, fiscal strength and jobs, and safer community.
To illustrate new business growth, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Cox cited several new business openings in 2015 such as Holiday Inn, Michael’s, Staples, Dollar Tree, desertFIAT and Davita Mojave Sage Dialysis Clinic. New business growth is expected to continue in 2016 as the much-anticipated BJ’s Restaurant is scheduled to open Feb. 15 and construction begins or continues on several businesses including O’Reilly Auto Parts, Taco Bell and Wendy’s, various medical office buildings, and a new elementary school in the Victor Elementary School District.
Council Member Eric Negrete spoke of the City’s many water conservation programs including its Cash for Grass initiative, as well as the City’s collaborations with volunteers, Fire and Police personnel and Victorville Disposal to clean up area communities and the Mojave Riverbed.
Council Member Ryan McEachron reported on several road improvement and infrastructure projects that took place in 2015 including the pavement rehabilitation on Spring Valley Parkway near Bear Valley Rd. McEachron also outlined several road improvement projects planned for 2016 such as a project to replace the pavement on Bear Valley Rd. between Amargosa and Balsam and a second project to rehabilitate the pavement, and add access ramps, sidewalks and bike lanes along La Mesa Rd. between El Rio and Cantina.
Council Member Jim Kennedy praised the safety personnel from San Bernardino County Fire and the Sheriff’s Department for their many efforts in 2015, and Kennedy had the privilege of welcoming the Sheriff’s newest K-9 Deputy, Raider to the stage where he was sworn in by Under Sheriff Joe Cusimano. Raider is a one-year-old bloodhound who will help deputies locate suspects, missing children and adults. He will also attend school, City and County events.
The State of the City was delivered to Victor Valley leaders at the Victor Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Valley Morning Insight, Feb. 3. A video of Victorville’s State of the City will be posted on the City’s website at www.victorvilleca.gov in the coming weeks.