City of Edinburgh hosts third ‘2040’ forum

A 1.5-hour public meeting on the future of Edinburgh took place on Thursday evening at Legacy Chapels.

Public turnout was far below that of city residents, but a handful of locals continued conversations about how Edinburgh could be improved, both in the long and short term.

“It says 2040, (but that) doesn’t mean we’re going to wait until then to implement anything – it means we start today,” Edinburg Ramiro Garza said.

Deputy City Manager Brian Kelsey largely led the presentation, along with Garza and members of Edinburgh City Council.

On the positive aspects of the direction the city is headed, one resident pointed to the constant routine of the city’s public waste department, another pointing out that it’s the people who make the community enjoyable.

Kelsey also showed the first results of respondents from their 2040 online survey. The top-ranked city departments included the fire, library and police departments respectively.

At the other end, respondents mentioned their dissatisfaction with the city’s streets, drainage and traffic.

Another resident, Robert Almendarez, said he thinks the city doesn’t have enough sidewalks and that residents and law enforcement could do more to keep the city cleaner.

‘It’s not fair to this other taxpayer keeping their property clean and across the street,’ he told Channel 5 News after the forum.

Garza said the responses they received in person and online will help city departments develop their budgets going forward. While his “2040” vision plan was once part of his campaign when he ran for mayor, Garza is happy to see how city staff helped make his idea a reality.

“It’s really about serving the community — the needs of our community,” Garza said. “I feel strong in planning for the future.”

Edinburgh residents have until March 31 to take the online survey.

According to city staff, a report of the findings will be available by April 15. A full action plan for the departments is expected to be presented by April 29.

Melvin B. Baillie