By Mayor Dave Harrington
The City of Aliso Viejo rolls into 2018 with a head of steam, a plan for smart, responsible growth and a host of lessons learned from the prior year. From the AV Ranch to the Town Center to our newly created recreation classes, we look forward to providing a safe and vibrant environment for our residents well beyond the new year.
On January 20 at 8 am, the Joyful Child Foundation will host a 5K race and 1K child Fun Run at Aliso Niguel High School to bring awareness to the Foundation’s “BRAVE” program aimed at protecting children from crime. As a dad with five kids, two adults and three teenagers, I know firsthand the stress of preparing kids for the real world. You cannot talk to them enough about every topic under the sun. Parents, talk to your children, even if you don’t think they are listening. Talk to them, they’ll get it through osmosis, trust me. Teach them to be aware of their surroundings and to not be afraid to say something if they see something. That goes for you parents, too, if you see something out of place, do not rationalize it away, report it! Please join me at Aliso Niguel on January 20 in sending off the runners and bringing awareness to an extremely important issue.
I speak frequently about the AV Ranch because it is going to be an amazing amenity for our community and the surrounding area. The City Council did incredible work to bring this plan to fruition. We are aiming to sign off on the final plans and award the construction contract later this year. I want to give a special thanks to our City Manager Dave Doyle for his efforts.
The City embarked on a new endeavor in 2017 bringing recreation classes to our residents. These classes continue this year with offerings ranging from TechKids to Tai Chi to CPR with a Senior Mobility Program to top it off. Please go to the City’s website at cityofalisoviejo.com and click on “recreation” for more information on available classes.
One of the requirements of serving in an elected capacity is to safeguard the public’s money, a fiduciary responsibility I take seriously. I introduced a council policy requiring the City to maintain an 80% funding level for the retirement obligation of the non-contract City employees. The purpose is to keep an eye on our obligations and to not find ourselves in an unfunded position we won’t be able to recover from without raising taxes. The Sheriff’s Department contract is another area we are watching closely. We look forward to a positive partnership where our concerns and ideas for improvement are taken seriously and we can maintain a level of fiscal certainty in our public safety costs.
Happy New Year Aliso Viejo, and I am ending this message in the words of John Wayne: “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes to us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”