Menifee Mayor Scott Mann expressed his gratitude towards 153 of his colleagues, staff, and those within the community who have helped the city grow during the fifth annual State of the City Address on Wednesday, June 19, at Menifee Lakes Country Club.
Mann also announced the city’s first-ever five-year Capital Improvement plan, the $69 million plan includes construction on Newport Road, Scott Road, and Menifee Road.
“During my short time as mayor, I’ve had the privilege with working with some outstanding people, neighborhoods and businesses in our community. With our new leadership team in place, we have sought to change the culture at City Hall and we’re doing just that,” said Mann, who is the city’s first elected mayor, to guests.
“Now, none of this would be possible without a city council that has embraced a mantra of reaching a principled compromise without compromising your principles,” he continued to say.
The city has lost $4 million dollars annually from the budget over time. Mann said the council had to get creative and had to prioritize the delivery of service to the community.
“Is everything running like a well-oiled machine? Of course not,” Mann said.
Although the city will always be in a constant state of turmoil, they have everybody working together heading in the same direction, said Mann.
“We know where we’ve been, we know where we want to go, we just haven’t had a plan to get there before,” said Interim City Manager Robert Johnson.
If there isn’t a vision and plan to get there, nothing is going to get done, said Mann.
With the vehicle license fee revenue being taken away in 2011 by Gov. Brown, Mann said the city needs to do everything they can to bring more revenue to the city, this also means less sales tax leaving the city.
The mayor continued to emphasize on why it is important to retain sales tax revenue for the city. The city has had to sacrifice some things over the last few years, such as not being able to hire new police, engineers, or code enforcement.
“It’s vitally important we grow our own local economy and work to retain sales tax revenue for our city,” he said.
Public safety costs has risen over the years, meanwhile the city property tax and sales tax revenues have not kept pace with the rise of costs, and the city needs an economic development plan.
This plan, a first-ever for the city, is designed to keep more consumer tax dollars in the city. Mann said the city loses about $422 million in sales tax to surrounding cities.
“Our plan to design and enhance revenue is generated by additional restaurants and other commercial businesses,” Mann said.
The city wants to establish more parks, restaurants, movie theater complexes, a car dealership, hotels, etc. to build up the city’s economy.
Menifee currently has 2.5 million sq.-feet of retail space approved, or soon to be approved, that will help with revenue.
Mann calls this the city’s quality of life cycle. Businesses bring more customer revenue, property owners enjoy higher property values, schools see an increase in enrollment, visitors have more shopping and recreation options, and the city enjoys an increased revenue for city services.
“Menifee is a great place to live and has many things to offer its residence,” Mann said.
This city is a highly desirable place to raise a family, he said.
“I’m confident that the city of Menifee will be Southern California’s next great American city,” Mann said.