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All aboard! New omnibus on the way

Friday, February 24, 2017 by Elizabeth Pagano

Yesterday, City Council Member Ellen Troxclair announced that she is moving forward with an “affordability action plan” with the support of resolution co-sponsors Mayor Steve Adler and Council members Jimmy Flannigan, Ora Houston and Ann Kitchen. In a post on the City Council Message Board, Troxclair said that they would hold a press conference to explain the details of the plan on this upcoming Thursday and referred to the plan as an “affordability omnibus” that would “include ways to reform the way the City determines its budget, highlights our housing needs, and provide opportunities for our locally-owned, small businesses to thrive.” The resolution and plan outline, which are embedded below, get into a little more detail. The plan will apparently address housing and real estate affordability through home construction, supporting a streamlined Land Development Code through the CodeNEXT process and reformation of the city’s permitting process. It will tackle diversification of the local economy through a regional workforce plan, supporting “hometown innovation,” revamping the city’s economic development policy and supporting local businesses. The plan will push a “better way of budgeting” through a biennial review of city programs and spending, use of performance metrics and collaboration with area taxing entities. The plan aims to tackle the cost of living and doing business in the city by addressing property taxes, prioritization of health and human services contracts based on performance measures, and by not increasing the city’s many utility rates and fees. And, finally, the plan looks to increase affordable and accessible transportation for residents through a variety of strategies including bond oversight and transportation planning.

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