Sparks Mayor, Geno Martini is acknowledging times are tough. In his "State of The City" address, Monday morning, he said the city's work force is down about 20% from this time last year. With fewer staff to provide services, he says the key to keeping things running is community activism.
As he delivered his remarks, the mayor paused frequently to express his gratitude for the work efforts and sacrifices of City employees. Martini admits that more job cuts and pay reductions could be on the horizon, but he's hoping for an economic turn around by 2010. In the meantime, he cited projects already in place that may draw revenue into the struggling city even in these hard times. He talked about a few by name, including the Legends Development, the Golden Eagle Regional Park & Sports complex, and a soon to open white water park at Rock Park on the Truckee River.
Grants dollars have been secured to continue Parks and Recreation services that might have otherwise been cut. Mayor Martini is hopeful good old fashioned community involvement will help fill the gaps elsewhere. He asked Sparks residents to get involved in an adopt-a-park or adopt-a-road program. To increase the effectiveness of a shrinking police force, he’s also encouraging communities to organize neighborhood watches, and keep an eye out for each other and their property.
As for a polarizing plan to rebrand the Rail City, Martini says it will happen, but the process may take another 3 to 5 years. He says there will be many meetings, and the public’s input will be solicited throughout the process. Later this month the City is expected to administer a "public attitude survey" via telephone to find out how residents feel about events in the city.