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Help set San Luis Obispo’s priorities at this public workshop

San Luis Obispo residents address their priorities at a community forum in 2011.
San Luis Obispo residents address their priorities at a community forum in 2011.

Calling it the “most important day of the year” in local government, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon, along with other City Council members and staff, are encouraging the public to attend a community workshop Tuesday to identify the city’s priorities for the next two years.

The public’s comments will help guide the council during its Jan. 28 goal-setting workshop and through the process of drafting the city’s 2017-19 Financial Plan. The community workshop is scheduled for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Ludwick Community Center at 864 Santa Rosa St.

“I’ve attended this event as a citizen in the past,” said Harmon, who was sworn in as mayor last month. “Being on the other side of it, this is the most important day of the year in terms of local governance. It speaks well of the city that so much effort has been put in to hear the voices of the residents.”

Harmon said that while she hopes residents will address issues she’d passionate about — including environmental protection and climate change action — she looks forward to hearing from the community on a broad range of concerns, and she encourages residents to give their input on matters she may not be aware of.

This is the most important day of the year in terms of local governance.

San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon

Harmon cited recent requests by Cal Poly students to add more streetlights in areas around the campus to increase safety.

“One of the things I’m surprised about is they’ve shared their concerns about the lack of lighting in the student neighborhoods,” Harmon said. “I’d encourage them to participate in the community forum.”

Several of the city’s advisory bodies also have ranked their priorities for the budget process, which have been presented as part of a public report.

Among those, the Architectural Review Commission ranked incentives for alternative transportation as highest on its wish list. The Bicycle Advisory Committee prioritized a railroad safety trail design that would provide “a huge safety enhancement for a large volume of bicyclists, a safe bike route to the university, schools, & parks.” The Parks and Recreation Commission would like funding to update the Parks and Recreation Element, along with adding park amenities such as lights for Sinsheimer Park tennis courts, dedicated pickleball courts and one fenced dog park.

Harmon said anyone who can’t attend Tuesday’s workshop can mail written correspondence to: City of San Luis Obispo, Attn: Mayor and City Council, 990 Palm Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401.

An online portal on the city’s website also offers the community a forum for their input at www.peakdemocracy.com/portals/189/forum_home.

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