Oakdale Mayor Pat Paul took her audience on a trip through the last year of Oakdale history with her State of the City address on Jan. 25. She gave the address to a crowd of more than 100 business owners, city staff and other Oakdale community leaders and residents at a luncheon hosted by the Oakdale Chamber of Commerce.
“There was a good turn out this year,” said Mary Guardiola, Chamber CEO.
Paul did not waste time lingering on any one topic, but rather ran through a list of issues facing Oakdale. She gave an update of the City of Oakdale’s financial status and challenges. Oakdale’s reserves were at 15 percent when she took office, Paul said, but they are currently at 21 percent.
This positive trend may not continue in the future, she said, considering that $325,000 a year in staff pay was lost when the California Supreme Court decided to nix all state redevelopment agencies. Her re-cap of the collapse of Redevelopment Agencies and the future of the Oakdale RDA was brief.
“Future of redevelopment: There isn’t any. It’s over,” Paul said.
The rest of the State of the City address focused on positive changes that Paul has seen over the last year, and good things to come. She mentioned the construction of Heritage Oaks Senior Apartments, which is nearing completion on Old Stockton Road. The housing complex will provide affordable housing to 40 or so senior Oakdale residents. Paul also mentioned the Oakdale Wastewater Treatment Plant, which recently went through a final peer review which was accepted by the Oakdale City Council. The upgrades are close to complete, but the project has not been fully accepted, which still must be done by city council resolution.
Paul said that Oakdale is moving forward with its effort to get more police on the street. Measure O, which allocates sales tax dollars for the city general fund, passed by ballot vote and will go into effect April 1.
One additional police officer was sworn in on Jan. 17, and he credited Measure O for his job. The mayor also said that she would like to increase the Oakdale Police Department further, and in doing so “clean up” the city. She announced a Feb. 27 summit on vandalism in Oakdale. She said that this would be an opportunity for community volunteers to get involved in preventing vandalism and graffiti in town.
“Something is wrong. We need to step up and say ‘we need more eyes out there’,” Paul said.
The community garden and TL Davis sports complex snack shack will both be getting a new look thanks to volunteer efforts. Paul stressed that volunteers are essential to Oakdale, and that everyone could do their part to make the city better.
“We need to look at how we do business in Oakdale,” Paul said.