by Jon Thompson, Mayor, City of Coolidge
It was a pleasure delivering the State of the City address to our Coolidge Chamber of Commerce and community members in April. Coolidge is continuing on the path to a brighter future, thanks in part to hardworking city staff, organizations and individuals who have made the city a priority.
Our budget is looking brighter than ever. Our city manager, chief financial officer and City Council are always looking at ways to become more efficient. Three important steps were made to help maintain a healthy budget outlook. We first looked at our management structure. We made consolidations within some departments without reducing headcount. Second, we sought renegotiations of existing contracts covering a wide range of products and services. This resulted in a significant reduction of costs as we head into the next fiscal year. Third, our management looked across the board for ways to automate systems reducing the amount of paperwork, printing and routing. I’m happy to report that the days of passing around papers to various departments is disappearing with the help of web and internal applications.
Roadways have also been a topic of discussion among our residents. We began working on repairing and replacing much-needed pavement along some of our most-traveled roads. Newly-paved roads can be seen near City Hall along Main Street and Vah Ki Inn Road. Additionally, we have completed new roadway along Central Avenue and Main Street. These projects have a lasting impact on the community.
Our youth and library program also are thriving. The city’s parks and recreation department offers many programs including, T-ball, basketball, flag football, soccer and many others. Participation numbers are growing, and the demand has increased year-to-year. Likewise, our Coolidge Public Library programs for both youth and adults increased. Our new programming room hosts a wide array of activities for youth, including a LEGO building class, story time and crafts. The adult programs have expanded to include guest speakers from ASU and around Arizona. It’s rewarding to see residents take part in lifelong learning and families share in activities.
The fire and police departments continue to implement great training courses and further their acts of service in community events. Coolidge Airport was chosen as a location for a special mass casualty training involving Pinal County first responders. The event was such a success that further trainings at the airport are in the works.
I’m proud of the work of our city staff in creating a balanced budget with a projected revenue over expenditures near $250,000. Recent projects have already shown the community our dedication for improvement, and we continue to rise further each quarter. I invite you to visit yourself. Take a stroll through the newly-paved downtown area or enjoy the many fine eating establishments and plentiful shopping. Coolidge is really paving the way to a bright future.