Thursday, January 29, 2009

State of Mesa: Councilmember Dennis Kavanaugh- District 3

This is the latest entry in our new series, "State of Mesa." We have offered each councilmember an opportunity to submit their own editorial on the state of their District to be posted on Mesa Issues. Here is Councilmember Dennis Kavanaugh's State of District 3:

It has been a busy time for the City Council since I took office last June. First and foremost, Mesa, like virtually every other American city has been faced with an unprecedented loss of revenues due to the recession economy. In December 2008 the Council approved dramatic reductions for the balance of this fiscal year and for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. No area of city government was spared these cuts and unfortunately, we will see a diminished level of city services during this coming year.

Now more than ever, we will need help from our residents, particularly in offering volunteer services. Virtually every city department has a valued place for volunteers and I hope District 3 residents continue our proud tradition of volunteer service to our community. Also, please continue to help us out by making your major purchases in Mesa as we rely so heavily on sales tax revenues.

We do have some exciting things happening in District 3. The opening of light rail has produced a wave of excitement among residents and businesses and has stimulated new development in West Mesa. The Mekong Plaza shopping mall is a great example of adaptive reuse of the old Target store and its parking lot has been crowded since day 1. Across the street we look for the opening of an upscale Hispanic market (Pueblo Market) this spring. We are seeing the beginnings of an international dining/shopping area at the start of the light rail line.

We have completed work on design guidelines for the Fiesta District. Changes to our zoning code are also anticipated to reduce barriers to reinvestment in West Mesa and the Fiesta District. Banner Desert Hospital, Mesa Community College and Fiesta Mall have all seen significant dollars invested in their locations. Through a partnership with the West Mesa Community Development Corporation and the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) the city is encouraging fa├žade improvements by West Mesa businesses. The new regional pool facility at Rhodes Junior High School is under construction and will be a valuable community asset when it opens this fall.

Finally, District 3 continues to have stellar neighborhood groups which work hard to keep crime down and property values up. I truly appreciate all that they do for our city.

Dennis Kavanaugh
Councilmember, District 3

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