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By Kendra Ablaza, Staff Writer
January 16, 2013 - In his annual address to city residents, Mayor Bob Foster announced that economic growth and development is improving in Long Beach despite the subdued strength of the economy.
Foster said the city is moving forward with maintaining its budget while still promoting citywide development. He commended the city’s pension reforms – something he pledged to do last year – and its efforts to maintain bond ratings.
“This is my seventh State of the City speech and the first one in which I feel confident in saying that the hard work and adherence to sound fiscal policy is paying off,” Foster told the audience in the sold-out Center Theater. “We are at a point of real optimism. There will be revenue to do more and we must be judicious in its use.”
Areas of development Foster said he would like to see done include implementing city surveillance, similar to the existing Long Beach Common Operating Picture system; continuing the city’s sustainability efforts; increasing commerce and continuing a policy of not using one-time revenues for ongoing programs.
Foster also listed the successes and achievements the city made in 2012, from the progress of new projects – such as the Gerald Desmond Bridge and Governor Deukmejian Courthouse – to economic development, environmental and overall quality of life improvements in Long Beach.