Suisun City's beautiful waterfront didn't always look this way.
In 1988, we were voted the worst community in the Bay Area. Drugs, crime, a dilapidated waterfront - that was the heart of our hometown.
That is, until community leaders, residents and business leaders began a $65 million redevelopment project downtown.
An ongoing revitalization effort funded through redevelopment monies, making Suisun City the hidden gem we all know today.
Along with the new Lambrecht sports complex, updated Senior Center and, among many other community assets, tons of new walking and biking paths.
Development downtown was stalled for over two years as Main Street West, our master developer, was tied up in lawsuits with the State - all the result of the elimination of redevelopment.
Worse, the State denied the repayment of a $1.75 million loan due the City from the former Redevelopment Agency.
This $1.75 million State take-away makes up nearly 15% of our general operating budget of $11 million. Money used for providing services to residents, businesses and visitors.
So how did Suisun City respond to this perfect storm of events?
We did what other cities across the State did. We slashed our work force by 20 percent. We lost three police officers or nearly 15% of our sworn staff, reducing investigations by half and eliminating our traffic unit. We cut one of only three street/maintenance crews. We combined eight departments down to six. Recreation services hung together with a team of part-time staff, including the director. All service areas were negatively impacted.
Suisun City receives $255 per resident in sales, property, hotel and other taxes. In California, the average is $792 per resident. Our $255 is not only significantly less than the statewide average, but lower than all of the other six cities in Solano County.
Worse, Suisun City receives only $652 per resident in total revenue as compared to an average of $2,208 for all cities in California. In Solano County, Suisun receives less than one-third to one-half of what the other six cities in Solano County receive.