The City Council is looking to head into its next two years with a set list of priorities.
At a special subcommittee meeting held Tuesday, council members met to discuss those priorities for 2024-25, and came up with a list of nine items it will be voting on at its next regular meeting on Monday night.
Many of the items on the list will look familiar to anyone keeping track of the issues the city has tackled over the past several years, but according to clerk to the council and former city councilor Clifford Cunningham, this is the first time the council has codified a set of priorities since 2012.
The list of priorities includes creating a master plan for economic development and zoning, improving public safety and addressing youth violence, addressing housing affordability and habitability, and increasing opportunities for youth through a community center, education programs, and workforce development.
Establishing a community center for youth in the city is an issue that has been raised by a number of councilors over the past several years, and affordable housing is another issue that councils of the recent past have sought to address.
At Monday night’s regular meeting, the council voted for the public safety subcommittee to hold regular meetings with the police chief and city manager to address ways to improve public safety and cut down on youth violence in the city.
Other priorities raised by councilors that will be voted on next week include improving roads and infrastructure; addressing public health issues facing the city’s elderly and disabled population, students, youth, and those dealing with mental health issues; improving transparency in city government; and increasing the level of civic engagement in the city.
The list of priorities being considered for 2024-25 share some similarities with those that were brought up more than a decade ago. Some of the overlap includes addressing youth violence and improving the conditions of sidewalks and roads. Some of the other issues raised in 2012, including adding more beat cops and cleaning up the appearance of Bellingham Square, are issues that have either have been or are currently being addressed.