ATASCADERO — Heather Moreno, who has served on the Atascadero City Council for nearly two years after being appointed to a seat left vacant when Tom O’Malley was elected mayor, has announced that she will be seeking another term on the council in the election this November.
Moreno says she feels that the current council works well together and she would like to see that momentum continue.
“I think it’s keeping on course with where we are,” she said. “We have a good team in place. I think we have a good synergy and I’d like to see it keep going. Our staff does a lot with much less than they used to have, so they’re really committed to Atascadero and working with us on being as lean as possible. And as for the council itself, we can disagree with one another without creating a scene or getting upset with one another.”
Moreno says that Mayor Tom O’Malley has been very good about building a consensus, not only within the council but also within the community at large, giving ample time for public feedback and making sure the council has had adequate time to thoroughly understand the issues.
“It’s about transparency,” she said. “It’s about citizen engagement. The citizens need to feel and believe that they are heard and their input makes a difference. You certainly could get things done and just ram it through, but that’s not what we’re there for, that’s not what the public wants and I don’t think that builds a lot of trust.”
Moreno, who has a professional background in accounting, said that maintaining fiscal responsibility is one of her main concerns for the city. Even though the city went through some challenging financial times during the recent recession years, Moreno says that we made it through relatively unscathed thanks to the financial prudence of the city’s leadership.
“Even though we’ve gone into reserves this past year, we still have over $6 million in general fund reserves and more than $6 million in reserves combined for building technology and vehicle replacements,” she said. “So my concern is that we continue to be fiscally prudent while we’re kind of experiencing this choppy recovery. Let’s make sure we’re fiscally sound — I think it’s important to maintain that and I will be a voice for that fiscal responsibility.”
For the complete article see the 08-08-2014 issue.
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