Mayor’s View: In tough times, refocus

The Economy. It is on forefront on everybody’s mind today, and for good reason. The current recession will likely prove to be one of the longest economic downturns since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Most of us don’t have any idea what that experience was like, but have heard from our parents and grandparents it was a life-changing period for their generation.

As a society, we’ve lost touch with the lessons learned from that period in American history. We’ve spent, borrowed and lived beyond our means for far too long, and now we are seeing the effects of this lifestyle. Many of us have experienced slow-downs at work, layoffs and a lack of discretionary income. This is frightening to most of us who have no experience in unstable economic times; as in previous downturns, it’s time to reprioritize and cut back on non-essential spending.

We are all feeling the crunch, and local governments are also facing tough choices in order to make ends meet. Fortunate for the residents of Solana Beach, we have great leadership in our City Manager, David Ott, who has been planning for the rainy days now upon us. We also have a City Council that is not willing to sacrifice our community’s health, safety and welfare, and is committed to protecting our quality of life and current levels of service.

But, even with proper planning and an unwillingness to sacrifice basic services, hard choices must be made in order to sustain a healthy economic future. City government, just like everybody else, must reprioritize its spending, tighten its belt and calculate the best decisions for long-term financial stability, without jeopardizing our basic needs.

As we continue to move forward in these uncharted waters, we ask for the community’s understanding as the city considers tough, but necessary budgetary cuts and potential revenue enhancements. There are no easy answers in trying times like these, but together we will face the challenges ahead, like those before us did, and seek opportunities for a less burdened and brighter future.

By Mike Nichols

Mayor, Solana Beach