balancing needs all voices in the community to be heard.
LEADER: Have you started thinking about reelection? Will you run
RAMOS: People ask me all the time, and I'm one who likes to take
the job before me and give it my very best effort. This year, my
focus is on the role and the responsibility of the mayor first.
LEADER: Do you have any ideas as to how to prepare for the state
budget? Is it even possible?
RAMOS: I think we've done a good job preparing reserves to help
balance our budget. Many cities don't have the reserves we do. And it
hasn't been just this council, but prior councils. We also have to
work very closely with Sacramento and the legislators. And we'll
ultimately have to look at enhancing revenues one way or another.
Staff recommends that we look at the transient-occupancy tax -- a
measure that went to the voters, which gave us approval to increase
the rate. This is a very intangible way to raise the revenue that
doesn't, in theory, impact local residents.
LEADER: What will some of the challenges be besides the budget?
RAMOS: I think one issue we should tackle head-on is traffic
mitigation and transportation management. Traffic numbers are
increasing, and we need long-term and short-term plans to address
this issue because it impacts the quality of life for residents.
Based on many conversations I've had in the community, this is the
primary concern for most residents.
LEADER: In a perfect world, what will Burbank look like in a year
RAMOS: Trees will be along Magnolia and South San Fernando
boulevards, for a start. There will be a fixed-route transportation
system available to the public. Also, a budget that looks more like
it did five years ago, because we've lost things like funding to the
arts, and that hurts.
And I would like to see a community that feels more connected to
the government that serves them because, in my opinion, that sense of
community is more about people than programs, and we need to continue
to foster this. It's a priority for me.
LEADER: Realistically, what do you think it will look like?
RAMOS: I think we've begun the strategy of a five-year budget
plan, downtown is experiencing positive growth and I hope that new
people and old people alike feel welcome in the city of Burbank. I
think this is realistic because we're going to work at it.