[Developing story] Before hundreds of local civic, business, cultural and community leaders Pasadena’s Mayor Bill Bogaard delivered his 2014 State of the City address Thursday night in Pasadena City College’s new Center for the Arts and declared that â€œarts and innovation are the connective tissue that binds the fabric of Pasadena.â€
The address touched upon over one dozen topics Mayor Bogaard ranks as vital to the city’s well-being. Among those, the current local economic climate, the Rose Bowl investment, the Pasadena Unified School District / City Work Plan, and the SR 710 freeway extension.
However, the arts and innovation theme was predominant throughout the speech and a video shown before Mayor Bogaard took to the podium.
“I am confident that Pasadena’s historic roots as an innovative community, together with our ongoing celebration of arts and culture, will keep our City as one of the most special and exciting places on the planet,” Bogaard said.
“It is no small coincidence that Albert Einstein, once a professor at our beloved Caltech, revealed that he discovered his theory of relativity through intuition, with music being a driving force supporting efforts.”
In reviewing the local economy, Bogaard said he anticipates Pasadena’s third balanced budget in a row when City Manager Michael Beck proposes the 2015 budget to the City Council in the next few weeks.
Bogaard referred to signs of “increasing economic activity” locally and said that the unemployment rate in Pasadena remains one of the lowest rates in the region.
The Mayor reported that significant fiscal challenges remain for City Hall, pointing to the depletion of excess funds built up before the recession and the 63% jump in pension costs to $11.9 million this year.
Bogaard referred to the Rose Bowl renovation as “one of our most important investments in the City’s future.” He said the Stadium has never shined more brightly than it did earlier this month during the 100th Rose Bowl Game and the BCS National Championship.
Calling the Pasadena Unified / City Work Plan “bold and innovative,” Bogaard reviewed some of the Plan’s highlights and declared it is “not about business as usual.” Several Board of Education members including Board President Renatta Cooper and PUSD Superintendent Jon Gundry were in the audience.
Noting the address would not be complete “without mentioning the now 60-year controversy about a possible extension of the 710 freeway,” Bogaard said that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is expected to release a draft report containing various options in about 90 days and that this “will be the subject of intense evaluation at City Hall.”
KPAS, the Cityâ€™s cable TV station, recorded the event for future broadcast and webstreaming. A broadcast schedule will be announced.