Mayor gives New Year’s message

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Seal Beach Mayor Michael Levitt

On Dec. 12, Seal Beach Leisure World resident Michael Levitt was reappointed by his colleagues during the City Council’s annual reorganization as the city’s mayor.

This will be the second consecutive mayoral stint for Levitt, who served as mayor in 2011 and mayor pro tem in 2010.

He was appointed in 2004 to fill a vacancy in District 5 in Leisure World, elected to the City Council in 2006, and was re-elected in 2010 to serve a second term.

This week, Levitt speaks to the city.

Dear Residents:

I am truly honored that my colleagues have the confidence in me to continue serving the city as Mayor.  I am proud to be the mayor of this great city, and I look forward to continuing to work with the council to lead our community and address the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in Seal Beach in 2012.

2011 was a year unlike any other in Seal Beach, with significant challenges and successes.

It goes without saying that we will not ever be quite the same after Oct. 12, undoubtedly the most difficult time in our city’s history; but we are a united and strong community.

While there is no way to prepare for a senseless tragedy of this magnitude, I am extremely proud of how our city staff and community responded and, as a result, grew closer during this time of need.  It is a true reflection of our community’s character and what we’re made of in this town.

On a much more positive note, the City continues to move forward despite the continued state of the economy.

The City’s budget was reduced by four percent, with three full-time positions being eliminated, but we are extremely fortunate to continue to operate with a balanced budget without a reduction in the level of services or programs to our residents.

In a time where the state continues to be unable to balance their budget, and continues to withhold funding from local agencies, Seal Beach continues to maintain our fiscal stability so that we can meet the needs of our community.

Within the next six months the City Council will focus on the development and adoption of a budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 that incorporates City Council identified goals of delivering responsive, customer service to the residents of Seal Beach, addressing state mandates, city services, and improving and maintaining the quality of life for all residents.

The City Council will again be tapping community members for their input during the budget development process to help in the decision-making process to assist positioning our city for future savings and continued long-term fiscal health.

There are several Capital Improvement Projects that are in progress and in the planning stages for 2012, and I would like to briefly highlight a few of the significant infrastructure priorities that will directly impact residents:

SR-22 Studebaker Ramp Improvements

In 2012 the City will be constructing ingress/egress improvements to the intersection of College Park Drive and the Studebaker ramp of the SR 22 near College Park West.

This intersection has been problematic for residents of College Park West for nearly 40 years.  The City has secured grant funds and anticipates constructing the improvements in spring/summer 2012.

Ocean Avenue Alleys

Several alleys along Ocean Avenue are in need of rehabilitation.  This year the Ocean Avenue alley is being reconstructed between 14th Street and Main Street.  The City is also designing the next phase of alley replacement between Main Street and 1st Street.

Seal Beach Boulevard and Golden Rain Road intersection improvements

The City is designing improvements to the intersection of Seal Beach Boulevard and Golden Rain Road.  This intersection meets current traffic codes but this project will update the oldest traffic signal within the city, which has not seen a major infrastructure investment in over 20 years.  It is anticipated that construction will begin in spring/summer 2012.

College Park East sewer improvements

The City is constructing sewer improvements within College Park East.  After completion of the sewer improvements, Basswood Avenue, Aster Street, Ironwood Avenue, and Elder Avenue will be repaved.  It is anticipated that this project will be completed in spring 2012.

Main Street Improvements

Several projects are planned to improve Main Street.  The first project provides for the installation of new trees on Main Street from PCH to Ocean Avenue to provide a uniform canopy of trees to help improve aesthetics and sidewalk safety on Main Street for residents and visitors.

The second project is the completion of a study to assess lighting needs on Main Street and prepare plans to install updated, efficient lighting.

Finally, your continued patience with impacts during the construction phases of these improvement projects, as well as ongoing traffic impacts of the West County Connectors construction project, is greatly appreciated.  As your Mayor for 2012, I am committed to working together with my Council colleagues, City staff, business community, and residents to maintain and improve the quality of life in Seal Beach.

Mayor gives New Year’s message