The Whittier City Council, April 2014
Cathy Warner - Mayors Message 2014 from City of Whittier on Vimeo.
Letter from the Mayor
Welcome to the City of Whittier’s website! Feel free to peruse the site and familiarize yourself with the City’s services and programs. You may even learn a little more about our great City.
With the recent earthquake in our neighboring city of La Habra on March 28, 2014, we are reminded of the 1987 Whittier quake and our vulnerability to natural disasters. You will see a focus on Emergency Preparedness during this year. Disasters and emergencies can occur at any moment; however, by being prepared we can better ensure we survive and recover quickly from a disaster. We are fortunate to have a local chapter of the American Red Cross here in Whittier. You are encouraged to visit them online or in person at their beautiful building in Uptown. The Greater Long Beach/Rio Hondo Chapter of the American Red Cross offers many resources and information ranging from emergency response and disaster preparedness to health and safety classes such a CPR and First Aid. For more information on the American Red Cross programs and services, call 562-945-3944 or go to www.redcross.org/ca/long-beach.
The City has a long history of being fiscally prudent, a philosophy that has served us well as we continue to experience the lingering effects of the Great Recession. By making budget reductions, carefully using reserves, and streamlining public programs and services over the last few years, the City Council was able to again adopt a balanced budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. We are in the process to adopt a budget for the upcoming 2014-15 fiscal year that begins on July 1, 2014. City Council members agree that the responsible approach is to balance further reductions in public spending with identification of other revenue sources as additional means to balance the budget. As always, we intend to continue to provide our core programs and services to residents and businesses as we seek to adopt another balanced budget.
In the next few years, we will also see the City invest millions of dollars on infrastructure in Uptown and along Whittier Boulevard with a total of $25,954,451 in redevelopment bond funds available. These bonds offer an opportunity to implement some of the improvements slated for our historic Uptown business district. The redevelopment bond funds also provide the impetus to assist with infrastructure improvements for the Fred C. Nelles development project. This state-owned 74-acre site on Whittier Boulevard and Philadelphia Street presents the largest development opportunity in Whittier in recent history. The site will be privately developed with a mix of residential, retail and open park space.
Over the next year, the City Council will continue to look for opportunities to increase the City’s sales tax revenue by working to attract new business to our community. We will also continue to support our existing businesses by sharing information on programs and services and by providing educational programs to help them be successful. When our businesses are successful, the City thrives—as the success and overall health of our business community is directly linked to the quality of life experienced by our residents.
Schools in Whittier are among the best in Los Angeles County. The Whittier Union High School District’s overall Academic Performance Index (API) continues to climb, with a gain of 190 points over the last eight years. In addition, all of the comprehensive high schools are in the 90th to 98th percentiles for API growth in the state; Whittier City School District is fourth on GreatSchools.org’s list of the ten “greatest improving school districts” in the state; and East Whittier City School District boasts API scores of over 800 in all elementary schools.
The City of Whittier was selected as the Most Business-Friendly City in Los Angeles County by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation in November 2012. Also, Whittier was ranked in the “2014 Top 100 Most Livable Cities” in the entire United States—after reviewing over 1,700 cities across the nation on independent data points, the City of Whittier is among the best, according to Livability.com. The latest honor for Whittier came from the National Civic League when the City became one of just 25 finalists nationwide for the All-America City Award. Whittier is indeed a great place to live and we are proud to share this accomplishment with our partners such as the school districts, the business community, the non-profit and service organizations, and of course our residents, who are the reason that Whittier is such a wonderful place to be.
Thank you for visiting our website and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, concerns or suggestions.