Lubbock's elected officials are proud of all they accomplished last year, but they have no plans to sit back and rest on their laurels. Expect a number of issues to demand council's attention this year, with water continuing to be the number one priority.
Councilman Jim Gilbreath says, "I think we'll be able to get some issues at Lake Alan Henry taken care of and we're going to do some public works reorganization which will enable us to focus even more on water." Mayor Marc McDougal says, "It's not something anybody needs to be worried about. Whether water will be there to take a shower next month or cook dinner this summer, but it's something we need to work on."
In 2005, council will continue to work with Lubbock's water commission to secure Lubbock's water supply for the next one hundred years. The goal: to have a plan in place, ready for implementation.
A year has come and gone, but no amount of water can wash away the memory of some major budget messes for the city. Thanks to some penny pinching and re-organization of LP&L, the budget is operating smoothly, but the city will continue to watch its finances closely in 2005. Mayor Marc McDougal says, "We need to put mechanisms in place to make sure we don't get back there again. Those are things council will be working on."
Speaking of budget, it's a good thing it's back on track. City leaders will need to find money this year for another priority, putting more officers on our streets. Mayor McDougal says 80 hopefuls are starting in the academy this year. He says, "What we've told the chief is you hire them and we'll find money for them."
The city will need all those officers to fulfill another major goal this year. Councilman Gilbreath says, "We've had a lot of neighborhood issues to deal with. Codes, we're putting codes under the police department now. We're in the process of implementing that. We'll see how it goes. I think it will be very successful."
Also on the 2005 agenda: economic development and new road development to ease Lubbock's growing pains. The city also has plans for voluntary annexation of some areas north and south of the city. Plus, they're hoping Congressman Neugebauer will help ease some federal restrictions on the use of Citibus money.