Adam Nick - Making Lake Forest Better!
Initiatives and Voting Record
Beginning in December of 2012, I began working together with my counterparts in the Council. Consequently, We have managed to pioneer several new ideas, while on the same addressing matters that were left for me personally by my predecessors.
In 2013 and 2014, the town of Lake Forest has been considered a safer city, having said that i know most of us aspire to get more. Over the last two fiscal years, Lake Forest has already established accurate, balanced budgets. And each of them completed the fiscal year with surpluses. Looking toward the long run, the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year Funds are predicted to end with $800,000 in surplus. Our financials ending June 30, 2014 were recently audited. These folks were found to have an unreserved General Fund balance of 105% in the total General Fund revenues. These numbers are well in the appropriate policy, as set with the planning and budgetary guidelines provided from City Council.
For that years of 2013 and 2014, City Council has continued to ensure that you mop up after previous councils. Through these proceedings, we certainly have had no new litigation emerge.
Below, I?ve included a summary of just some of the measures that came before the Council inside the 2013-2014 year. A number of the items were created by me prior to being passed through the Council. Others came up inside the usual manner for the Council. Those that I introduced are marked by asterisks.
*Open Government ? To help encourage the Public to get open use of all information related to City government, our website now incorporates a section entitled ?Open Government,? that follows our theme of openness and transparency. Other features of the redesign include:
We currently possess a more user-friendly, modern looking website that gives many services that were either non-existent or impedingly hard to find. A big thing about this is just making information simpler to locate and understand.
This includes information for example pertinent financials for City Council Members along with other City employees. These financials include salaries, benefits, payments, and reimbursements. In addition, it includes non-financial information. It better explains the entire process for City Hall?s waiver process. This section clearly explains how waivers are received, processed, and granted. These waivers are granted for a multitude of purposes.
Our public are able to find and consider other financials for your Forest Lake overall. Our new ?Budget at the Glance? feature can be purchased in a simple brochure form. It?s easy to read and comprehend the city Budget and Financial Statements using this. And in addition it has simple to follow key points from the Operating Budget.
To be able to further our goal of transparency, we?ve now arranged to publish Council Travel Expense Reports online. These are generally alongside the Council Members? campaign disclosure records. Within this section, furthermore you will obtain the Statements of Economic Interests forms for those city staff, attorneys, Council Members, and Commissioners.
As an element of this project, it has been exciting to see the Lake Forest Records Online website still expand, now with over 80,000 records. This now comes with a section entitled ?Planning and Development? that includes a complete list of all current projects in addition to their pertaining recent decisions. They are updated monthly, and include the right contact details for involved staff. Lastly, we?ve included an readily accessible link about the City?s website with the objective of drawing awareness of the Bid and Proposal opportunities section, thereby increasing public understanding of the projects the area is currently along the way of procuring.
*Reducing the expenses of City Council Members ? Now, restrictions will be in place to control the amount of taxpayers? money is utilized to pay or reimburse any city Council Member. In considering what things to restrict, Federal guidelines are actually being implemented, which brings us into compliance. Also, physical receipts are actually required. These changes have already been implemented with goal of introducing even tighter restrictions, despite my Co-Councils? unwillingness to accomplish this.
*The requirement that any tax or rate increase from the Council needs to be approved with a super majority (4 of 5), rather than a simple majority of Council Members (3 of 5).
*The desired majority required to approve any rate or tax increase exposed to City Council now takes a super majority, replacing the previously required simple majority. Now, 4/5 members must agree as opposed to just 3/5.
Accomplishments of 2013 and 2014
Together, Lake Forest is able to create almost 2,000 new jobs, while bringing almost 300 business to the area.
Our unemployment rates are much lower than average for the remainder of our county, state, and country. The position creation numbers have reduced the velocity to around 3%.
Over 90% of our buildings that happen to be zoned as ?commercial? are occupied. Again, a number that is superior to the Orange County average.
By completing the new Substation for that Sheriff?s department, an annual saving?s of virtually $300,000.00 has started.
Between 80% and 90% of our traffic signals have now been capable of being synchronized. A similar variety of our sidewalk ramps are already made handicap-accessible. We enjoy having these numbers be 100% very soon.
The permit and construction process on Forest Lake?s premier dog park are very underway.
Sadly, previous City Councils throughout the last two decades have failed to wisely use a number of the $75,000,000 in taxes they collected so that you can purchase or construct a building that belongs to them.
Currently, our City Hall uses only ten thousand sq. ft. of the building it rents. Surely, with some meticulous planning, it would have been better to spend only a part of the tens of millions that went toward rent, on purchasing a building that better suits the requirements of City Hall.
The least that could be done would be to control the rent expenses we currently have. And I Also have! When compared with when I first took office, we now pay more than $300,000 less in rent for the same space. (Previously $1,300,000 in comparison with currently below $one thousand,000)
Looking towards future, we have expansive intends to make a functional, flexible City Hall space. Among other things, the new plans include spaces focused on the community, like centers for seniors and youth. Well before my time on the council, the land was acquired for this type of project. Since that time, issues happen to be found out that have slowed the project down, but we refuse to permit them stop us. We are currently spending so much time to carry on the project, and alter our plans in order to decrease the ecological impact whenever possible.
Despite our tremendous progress over the past two years, you can find persistent issues. The political system in and around City Hall is still corrupt and cracked, while malicious and selfish agendas continue.
I have got worked challenging to fight these and to protect your City government from their website. My record stands for itself with this matter. I?ve striven to create transparency for your City Government, and to help you be more in the process. I?ve struggled to create light to the corruption as well as to correct it. I?ve brought many suggestions to the table, merely to be struck down, often 4-1, in the interest of protecting your government from those who are self-serving. Although the decision is yours. Is Lake Forest, both our community, and our City Hall government, a place that may be better without me?