April 23, 2013 > Mayor Nagy expresses optimism, Chamber CEO announces retirement
Mayor Nagy expresses optimism, Chamber CEO announces retirement
At a meeting of civic leaders, Newark Mayor Al Nagy expressed "cautious optimism" about the fiscal future of Newark. His address was tempered by the announcement by Newark Chamber CEO Linda Ashley of her retirement at the close of Summerfest festivities on July 14, 2013. A search for a new President/CEO has resulted in the appointment of Judy Mooney who will serve as "Interim" immediately, becoming permanent upon Ashley's retirement. Linda has served since 2004 when asked to resurrect the ailing organization - an accomplishment that has been a "huge challenge" but successful. Now she feels it is time to tackle the rest of her "to do" list.
Mayor Nagy expressed confidence in the City of Newark and spoke of the challenges it has faced in his first term of office. He noted that although Measure U funds have allowed the City to close the budget gap created during the difficult economic recessionary times, these funds will sunset in 2015 and economic recovery, although beginning to appear, is far from certain. The combination of Measure U funds and an uptick in hotel tax revenue is estimated to build City Uncertainty Reserves to $5 million. At this time, the City's budget is projected to balance with a small surplus. Aging assets, however, have put significant financial pressure on Capital Reserves, an area of concern that must be addressed in the near future.
Although Newark has suffered through financial hardship, the Mayor argued that the quality of life remains high, citing a plethora of recreational facilities and the "real hidden treasure" of "our people and their willingness to give of their time to support a variety of causes." Volunteerism and coordination with a wide variety of ethnic and religious groups is at the heart of Newark as well as active engagement with education facilities and programs - public and private. Development of Transit Oriented Development, NewPark area, Cherry Logistics Center and Pacific Research Center were a few of the economic stimulants noted in the Mayor's speech.
In conclusion, Mayor Nagy said that even though Newark has not been immune to a "down economy," he believes the City remains a "special place."