Scott Mann, the first elected mayor in Menifee's five-year history since its 2008 incorporation, praised his city council and staff for a productive cooperative effort and outlined the city's potential in his State of the City address today.
Mann addressed a crowd of more than 150 guests at Menifee Lakes Country Club in an event sponsored by the City of Menifee and Menifee Valley Chamber of Commerce.
"Your city is thinking strategically, we're planning with the future in mind, and objectives are aligned with policy goals," Mann told the audience. "We are undertaking activities today that will produce a higher quality of life tomorrow."
A member of Menifee's original city council in 2008, Mann was re-elected to the council as the city's mayor last fall. Working with new council member Greg August and returning council members Wallace Edgerton, John Denver and Tom Furhman, Mann said one of his primary goals has been to foster an environment of cooperation and proactivity among council and staff members.
While acknowledging public frustration over the many challenges facing a growing city of 82,000, Mann painted a picture of hope and prosperity, based on "strategic planning" that includes:
-- The creation of ad hoc committees ranging from such broad topics as economic development and public safety to more specific topics, such as the new regional aquatic center in Perris and a city ordinance regarding metal storage containers.
-- A five-year Capital Improvement project, discussed in Tuesday night's city council meeting, which includes road improvement projects on Newport Road, Scott Road, Menifee Road and a planned freeway overpass at Holland Road.
-- An economic development plan designed to keep more consumer tax dollars in Menifee. Mann said the city loses an estimated $422 million in "retail sales leakage" to other cities. City officials are in negotiations with movie theater chains, restaurants and big box businesses in an effort to build up the city's economy.
-- An expanded parks and recreation system, with future plans for a parks and recreation director and analysis of the relationship between Valley Wide Recreation, which owns and manages recreation facilities east of Interstate 215, and the City of Menifee, which controls recreational facilities west of the freeway.
-- A growth plan that encourages housing development while maintaining what Mann refers to as Menifee's "rural charm."
"Some key components of our economic development plan include a business attraction program, a business retention program and a job creation program, all designed to grow our tax base and support essential city services," he said.