City Manager: ‘We Look Forward To Your Participation At Town Halls’

By Merced City Manager Stephanie Dietz

As the City prepares for its annual community town hall meetings this February, I extend an invitation to our community and ask for participation. These meetings, scheduled on Thursday, Feb. 10 and Thursday, Feb. 17, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will provide opportunities to meet with Council Members and City staff, share input and learn more about the City’s goals and priorities.

The City Council’s goals and priorities guide policy development and delivery of services to move our community forward. As Merced’s City Manager, it is my responsibility to implement and support these goals and priorities by overseeing the delivery of services to our community and prudently managing our City’s budget of more than $320 million.

Through community input and partnerships, our 2021 work plan leveraged new and existing resources to further our goals and priorities. Through the efforts of more than 60 appointed volunteers to Commissions and Committees and the work of the more than 520 employees that make up the City of Merced team, we are thoughtfully making decisions that will impact several generations.

During 2021, Merced Parks & Recreations Department served more than 22,000 youth and adults through full-day summer camps, recreational sports leagues, swim programs, adult baseball and basketball recreation leagues, holiday-themed special events, movies in the park, monthly visits to the Merced Senior Center and Applegate Park Zoo.

Our police department found solutions for a variety of challenges within our community. Officers responded to more than 79,000 calls for service, 52,000 of these calls generated from our Emergency Communications Dispatch Center. City Fire personnel responded to nearly 11,700 incidents, with more than fifty percent related to rescue and emergency medical services. In addition, our Public Works department filled close to 27,000 potholes, trimmed nearly six thousand trees, collected 23,000 tons of garbage, and treated 3 billion gallons of wastewater.

In 2021 the City issued 730 building permits for single-family homes and 18 building permits for multi-family construction for 321 units. Additionally, the Council allocated approximately $15 million toward housing projects to support the construction of more than 1,000 affordable units. It authorized the application for a $2.5 million state grant to support the first-time homebuyer down payment assistance program. With more than 3,786 total permits issued in 2021, our City continues to grow steadily.

In March 2021, the City of Merced received $27 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Through a community impact survey, residents provided input that helped the City Council align this funding with critical investments to improve our community and safeguard our economy over the next four years.

Our current economic landscape creates a need for well-planned growth, sustainability practices, and innovative service delivery methods, which will allow us to navigate challenges and embrace new opportunities. I look forward to supporting our City Council and community members to set a standard for collaboration, cooperation, and good decision making.

Serving our growing City continues to be my greatest honor. I remain humbly at the service of our Merced community and look forward to your participation at our upcoming town hall meetings.

City of MercedMercedMerced County
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