Candidates must tackle financial issues
BAY AREA NEWS GROUP Article Launched: 10/16/2008 11:45:27 AM PDT
Like many cities throughout the state, El Cerrito must face some financial challenges in the coming year.
The city's target store relocated to Richmond this year and an auto dealership also has left town.
Both were the kind of sales tax generators that cities rely on to help fund essential services and other municipal programs.
Keeping the city on an even financial keel will be the task of three city council members voters will choose on Nov. 4 The race became wide open when incumbents Jan Bridges and Letitia Moore not to run again.
Mayor Bill Jones is seeking another term and four newcomers — David Boisvert, Ann Cheng, Greg Lyman and Andrew Ting — are seeking the other two council spots.
We think Jones, Boisvert and Lyman deserve your vote.
Jones, a former member of the El Cerrito Financial Advisory Board, feels the council should look for grants and other sources of revenue to augment the budget. Council members must monitor the city's finances throughout the year to make certain the budget is sound, he insists.
That sounds like solid advice to us.
Lyman supports further revitalization of San Pablo Avenue to repair unattractive store fronts and make the Avenue a more pleasant place to shop. He also favors outreach to convince new businesses to locate in town. We second that motion.
Boisvert also wants the city to be business friendly and wants to make certain that any additional redevelopment projects undertaken in El Cerrito pay their own way rather than costing the taxpayers money. Those are admirable goals.
No city council can change economic conditions overnight, but with the ideas espoused by these three candidates will put the city on the right track toward a better financial future.