City Finances Are Strong Reports Mayor in State of the City Address

The City of Menifee is headed for greener pastures. That's the kind of enthusiasm Mayor John De...

john denver menifeeThe City of Menifee is headed for greener pastures.

That's the kind of enthusiasm Mayor John Denver expressed to a crowd of local residents, business people, and community leaders at the 4th Annual State of the City Address, held at Menifee Lakes Country Club on February 15.

"The state of our city is strong!" the Mayor said emphatically to sum up his speech in a nutshell.

The first year mayor went on to list a number of achievements the city achieved from the previous year, most notably an 11.3% increase sales tax revenues, along with the highest property valuation increase of any city in Riverside County.

"We are adding revenue to our budget reserve at a time when many cities are having to spend some reserves to stay solvent", Denver said.

The mayor went on to report that the results of a recent fiscal audit showed that the city is fiscally sound, good news after an audit performed two years ago showed irregularities that resulted in the city's original city manager having to resign.

"Our city is not only fiscally sound, but our processes were so well received by the auditor that our city is being considered for an accounting standards award", the mayor reported.

But the increase in sales taxes and property valuation couldn't have come at a better time when city residents are experiencing worsening traffic jams at Newport Rd bridge. "Development of the Interchange projects at 1-215 and Newport Road, and I-215 and Scott Road, are currently in design phase", Denver announced. "City staff is also studying the effects of a Holland Road overpass."

Denver also noted several road improvements that were completed, including the resurfacing of Antelope Rd, Bradley Rd, and Encanto Rd, and the realignment of Newport Rd in the west.

Bringing new restaurants into the city was another subject he touched, noting the opening of Texas Roadhouse and Miguel's Jr last year. But he also announced two new restaurants expected to open in Menifee later this year. "Panera Bread and BJ's Restaurant and Brewery have recently submitted development plans, and other major restaurants have contacted us about assisting them in moving here."

Denver also took the time to thank its police department, and pointed his finger to John Hill, the new police chief, after the department arrested suspects in a rash of home invasion robberies that occurred in Sun City last December.

The increase of revenues will also make it possible for the city to hire more staff. "This year we doubled the amount of resources for our code enforcement division and we will be adding two more staff", the mayor said. "A grants position and Assistant Public Works Director will be hired soon." Denver also said positions will be hired to improve parks, special events, and to help out in engineering and planning.

The mayor also addressed the handful of Sun City residents who attend every city council meeting to lodge numerous and often emotional complaints. "Rest assured the city is getting all the big things right", Denver explained. "The city is financially strong and getting stronger, the city has a solid reserve to get us through these difficult economic times, the city has a low crime rate and excellent police and fire coverage throughout our City. Our main traffic challenges are being addressed, traffic solutions are being designed as we speak, and funding solutions are being pursued."

In all, Denver painted a picture of promise that more dining and retail choices are coming to Menifee, that property values are on the upswing, the city's revenue