SENIOR STAFF WRITER|
Azusa Mayor Joe Rocha reported Azusa has successfully managed to stay “out of the red” despite the economic downturn in the State of the City address on Thursday, Feb. 11.
“It is my pleasure to once again announce that this year, the city’s financial condition is in the black,” Rocha said. “The city’s financial condition is healthy and we look forward to continuing solid financial reports throughout the next year.”
The State of the City address was held in the National Guard Armory early Thursday morning, as a number of city officials and board members addressed the city efforts and improvement in 2009, as well as projected goals for 2010.
Rocha gave a snapshot everything going on in Azusa by highlighting the city’s agreement with Target, which recently began construction on a new store in the city.
Azusa’s agreement with the Metro Gold Line to expand past Pasadena and into Azusa was also mentioned. Construction is set to begin this year.
“The nation, at large, is experiencing hard economic times,” Rocha said. “However, quite to the contrary in Azusa, we have ny services to our residents. We have not had any layoffs.”
Rocha went on to give reviews of the city’s police department, community development department and City Council.
The community improvement team removed graffiti from 3,754 locations with 360 gallons of paint, according to Rocha. The team also recovered 11,314 shopping carts from city streets.
Rocha also emphasized the city’s construction projects are underway and will provide more affordable housing to residents.
In closing, Rocha urged the audience to stay further connected with the city through Twitter, which the city is now using to send out resident notifications.
Following Rocha’s address, Acting President and Executive Vice President of Azusa Pacific David Bixby gave a comprehensive report of the university’s development through 2009.
This included the dedication of the science building on Sept. 3 as well as the university’s acquisition of five Dead Sea Scroll fragments.
“Our intention is to have an exhibition this coming May,” Bixby said. “We are so excited about this. It will be on display for eight weeks and I invite all of you to come.”
However, while parts of the city are stable and improving, the educational system of Azusa Unified School District is facing challenges.
According to superintendent of Azusa Unified School District Cynthia Cervantes-McGuire, the district is facing challenges since Glendora has now become the district of choice, which means residents of Azusa can now choose between the districts they prefer.
“District of choice changes the playing field,” Cervantes-McGuire said. “Declining enrollment has caused desperation on the part of some districts.”
Rocha encouraged residents to continue in attempts to improve the city of Azusa.
“Building the city of our dreams has been, and continues to be, a collective process,” Rocha said. “We are, after all, a city that has continued to stay unified in good times and bad times. We are a community with heart.”