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Message from the City Manager January, 2020

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2019-2020 Year End ReportHappy New Year!  It’s hard to believe that it’s 2020 already.  Last year went by in a flash and I want to take a moment to memorialize some of our achievements. We’ve accomplished a great deal in 2019 thanks to an involved citizenry, collaborative City Commission and dedicated staff.   We have completed or made good progress on a majority of the initiatives from the inaugural 2019 Business Plan and have added new initiatives for FY 2020.  Below is a list of just a few of our accomplishments last year.  We completed these tasks while continuing to provide our citizens with exemplary day-to-day services such as (but not limited to) excellent response times for our first responders, well maintained facilities that enhance the lives of our residents, the best drinking water anywhere and a vibrant Downtown.

We worked hard to create a vibrant, cultural experience that impacts the lives of our community and visitors:
•    Adopted the Public Art Program and implemented the Public Art Master Plan.
•    Created additional routes for golf carts and established safety regulations.
•    Established the Historic Preservation Program
•    Designated as a Florida Certified Local Government which affirms the City’s commitment to historic preservation.
•    Commenced construction of the new Blue Jays Spring Training Stadium and Player Development Complex.  We will be playing ball in the stadium by the end of February 2020.
•    Developed and implemented the “Live Well Dunedin” campaign which was awarded a 2019 Future of the Region Award.
•    Implemented Code Changes based on the Visioning 2017 exercises pertaining to building heights setbacks and park dedication requirements.
•    Established a location for the new City Hall and contracted Harvard Jolly for design services.
•    Expanded the holiday/year round lighting program into several of the trees located in John R. Lawrence Pioneer Park and Edgewater Park.
•    Completed design phase of Skinner Boulevard improvement project.

We took actions to affirm our financial stability:
•    Improved the Credit rating for S&P Global rating from AA to AA+ while affirming a stable outlook.  The upgrade reflects the City’s very strong assessed value growth and financial management.
•    Updated the City’s financial management policies and formalized our reserve policy.
•    Improved the city’s cash and investment earnings by nearly 100% over the past year.
•    Adopted the FY 2020 balanced budget with no increase in taxes while supporting 93 work initiatives in addition to day-to-day responsibilities.
•    Secured a State Revolving Fund (SRF) Construction Loan for the reconstruction of the City's ROWTP project.  The SRF Loan was approved and executed for approximately $28.3M, at an annual interest rate of 1.03%, resulting in substantial savings to the City.

We know that public safety is a primary concern of our residents:

•    Approved a new agreement with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office which included 2 new CPO (Community Policing Officer) for a total of 5 in our community and a staff of 63 dedicated to the North District.
•    Placed the new Aerial Platform (fire) truck in service (included history making change in the color of the apparatus).
•    Completed design of the EOC / Training Center project.
•    Approved 5 year County EMS First Responder and County Fire District Agreements.
We continue to strive to be the statewide model for environmental stewardship:
•    Adopted Ready for 100 Initiative committing to 100% renewable energy by 2035 in all public buildings.
•    Received both a USF Award and the 2019 Future of the Regional Award for the USF Community Sustainability Partnership Program (CSPP) projects.
•    Implemented Duke Energy’s Park and Plug Pilot Program that encourages clean transportation through the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
•    Re-certified as a Green Local Government at the Platinum level.
•    Designated the home city of the newly established Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot spanning from Appalachacola Bay south to Ten Thousand Island to the south.

In our spare time:
•    Completed the second year of the Dunedin Citizens' Academy.
•    Completed the first comprehensive Resident Survey and follow-up focus group.
•    Completed the first comprehensive Employee Engagement Survey.

The upcoming year will be as active as last year.  The adopted 2020 Budget and Business Plan are well under way.  The Business Plan for 2020 enables City staff to map out the first steps toward attaining our EPIC! goals through implementing 53 Business Plan Initiatives and 84 capital improvement projects.  The Business Plan initiatives and capital projects constitute a total investment in the community of $81,404,300 through FY 2025. 

 Listed below are just a few of the initiatives we will be working on in FY2020  
•    Complete large scale construction projects such as the Blue Jays Player Development Complex and the stadium.
•    Continue construction of the Emergency Operations Center
•    Commence construction of the new City Hall.
•    Develop and implement the DREAM (Dunedin’s Resilient Environmental Action Plan) which will be used as a guideline for sustainable initiatives and goals.
•    Complete the update of our business process management software (ERP)
•    Refurbish the stage at John R. Lawrence/Pioneer Park
•    Develop and implement customer service standards
•    Complete the inaugural business survey
•    Implement the Solar Energy Incentive Program

Whether working on a Business Plan initiative or completing a work order, City staff remains committed to providing exceptional customer service to our residents, business owners and visitors.  We plan to make 2020 the best year yet!