City of University Place announcement.
Prior to turning over the mayor’s gavel to new Mayor Steve Worthington, outgoing Mayor Caroline Belleci took a few minutes during the first City Council meeting of 2022 to review some of the accomplishments of the City during 2021. These included:
The City launched hybrid Council meetings that enable residents to safely attend City Council meetings in person or in the comfort of their homes. A partnership with Pierce County TV provides streaming of these meetings on YouTube and via the City’s cable TV network (UPTV).New technologies have created more efficient permitting and licensing processes for residents, businesses, and our staff. A new website offers an ADA-accessible platform that includes a City meeting agenda center with packets, agendas/minutes and links to video all in one place. The University Place Police Department debuted a virtual studio so it can continue to hold its popular public safety forums and community academies online.
In an effort to support U.P. residents most impacted by the pandemic, City staff collaborated with rental community partners, churches, school groups and non-profit human service providers to develop a City-administered COVID relief program that offered financial assistance to our residents for food, rent and childcare. In addition, a partnership with the Pierce County Department of Emergency Management led to two COVID testing events and five mobile vaccine events.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, creative problem-solving enabled the City to hold many of its traditional community events, including the Curtis High School Mobile Graduation Parade, Jazz in the Village concerts, Movie Night in the Park, Music on the Square and the Holiday Cheer UP Reverse Parade.
In its 2021 review of the City’s bonds, Moody’s Rating Agency noted the strength of the City’s finances, and in particular, its reserves. They stated that the City’s cash balance as a percent of operating revenues is far stronger than the U.S. median and far superior to other Moody’s-rated cities nationwide. The agency also noted City’s manageable debt burden and a small pension liability.
Since 2019, total business licenses in the City have increased by 35 percent, including a 23 percent increase in brick-and-mortar businesses and a 48 percent increase in home-based businesses.
Watch Belleci deliver her entire State of the City report beginning 35 minutes into the Jan. 3 Council Meeting.