On behalf of Mayor Patrick McCrory and the members of the Charlotte City Council, I am pleased to present the Fiscal Year (FY2004) Performance Report. It is an account of the key challenges faced, the successes achieved and the state of the City today.
Although national and state trends indicate the beginnings of a mild economic recovery, actual City tax revenue growth has not yet rebounded to previous levels. This limited revenue growth challenges the City's ability to maintain services without additional new revenues.
The strong growth and development in and around the City increases demands for such basic City services as garbage collection, fire protection, street maintenance and code enforcement. Limited financial resources mean hard budget choices about how best to address the Council's priorities and focus areas within existing resources. City Manager Pam Syfert
To balance the current FY2005 budget, the City continued budget cuts from previous years and the City Council approved the transfer of a portion (0.7¢) of the property tax rate from the capital to the operating budget. This property tax transfer allows us to continue the capital program (road and sidewalk construction, neighborhood infrastructure projects and public facilities) while balancing the needs of the entire budget and our citizens. The City has transferred property tax from operating to capital many times over the past 20 years to support the ongoing commitment to a capital construction program. This revenue transfer is, however, a step taken under difficult budget circumstances. Addressing the City's long-range revenue needs is necessary to maintain a competitive position and our reputation for solid municipal service delivery.
The City moved ahead with plans that advanced Charlotte City Council's focus areas and priorities and also concentrated on basic service delivery. Key successes included:
- Preserving the City of
's AAA bond rating
- Keeping water and sewer rates among the lowest in the Southeast
- Reducing robberies by 16.5% per 100,000 population and the incidence of robberies of Hispanics by nearly 30%
- Increasing by 36.7% the number of new enterprises along business corridors
- Decreasing sanitary sewer overflows by 35% and volume of wastewater spills by 96%, its lowest point in five years
- Decreasing the number of fires per 1,000 population from 1.105 to 0.97 - the lowest rate recorded in three decades
Looking ahead, there is reason to be optimistic about the economy, although projections remain conservative. City priorities continue to be: partnering with citizens to improve neighborhoods and community safety, attracting jobs and providing affordable and valuable transportation choices. Maintaining current service levels and managing within existing resources is a constant theme as the City enters its 19th straight year without a property tax rate increase. With the policy leadership of the Mayor and City Council, strong fiscal management, a dedicated workforce and valuable community partnerships,
will continue to be a community of choice for living, working and leisure activities.
City Manager, was appointed in September 1996. Her career with the City includes service as deputy city manager, assistant city manager and budget and evaluation director. She is a member of the Board of Visitors of the McColl School of Business at
and is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Syfert earned a bachelor's degree from
Iowa and a master's degree from
. She also has completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government at
University and the Senior Executive Institute at the