Letter to the Editor: Lend your voice to the Cordova budget discussion

Helen Howarth has been offered the position of Cordova city manager. (Oct. 2, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times
City Manager Helen Howarth. (Oct. 2, 2019) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

Fellow Citizens of Cordova,

I am honored to be your new city manager and am ready to work with you to keep Cordova a wonderful place to live. My husband Jeff Bailey is a longtime local commercial fisherman who has owned a house here since 1982. We are invested in the community and happy to now live year-round in our home on Council Avenue.

My first challenge has been rather daunting: present a balanced 2020 budget that funds needed public services, provides for the education of our youth and the health of all, and maintains Cordova’s quality of life all while under the constraints of sudden reductions in state revenue sharing and school bond debt reimbursement.

Council has directed me to look for every efficiency, every dollar of savings that can be found as well as to seek out grants and other sources of income.  I am committed to this charge, but it will take time to realize and the new budget year begins in just over a month.

City Council deliberated their options at several recent budget work sessions and chose to pursue additional revenue rather than sacrifice city services. Council is considering a sales tax increase as well as a new tax on alcohol, tobacco and marijuana to help balance the budget. Taxes are not the council’s first choice, but rest assured they are committed to ensuring every tax dollar collected is prudently spent in service to Cordovans.

Please join us at the next City Council meeting on Dec. 4 to lend your voice to the budget discussion. I look forward to hearing your feedback and working with you to find solutions that strengthen our city.

Helen Howarth
Cordova City Manager

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