Zach Donnenfield | Mustang News

San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon and City Manager Derek Johnson will present the first State of the City Address Wednesday, March 21.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the City Council Chamber Room at City Hall, where the inaugural address will celebrate the City’s “Community Builders.”

“This year’s theme of ‘Community Builders’ emphasizes the things that are possible when we work together and the importance of us all recognizing how we play a role in building community,” Johnson said in a press release.

Presented first to city staff in January, the State of the City report will show revenue trends and will highlight city accomplishments.

“Throughout 2017, the City accomplished many positive projects and initiatives, to strengthen our community. I’m looking forward to sharing what we’ve done, and what’s ahead for San Luis Obispo in 2018 and beyond,” Harmon said in a press release.

The community gave an overwhelming amount of input for the 2017-19 Financial Plan community forum to help guide the City Council with their four goals of improving housing, multi-modal transportation, climate action and fiscal sustainability and responsibility. Harmon and Johnson will also discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for San Luis Obispo.

“In the spirit of the theme, I wanted to share the report highlights with the public to show what’s possible when we work together and to encourage ongoing collaboration in 2018,” Johnson said.

Johnson said successful examples of this are the PEACE and PACT events, where police officers and the public have improved communication and understanding in a series of two-hour discussions.

San Luis Obispo Police Department Neighborhood Outreach Manager Christine Wallace said Cal Poly students’ attendance and participation is especially helpful because they are receiving the information firsthand and communicating it to their friends.

“I think because students are a significant group in our community, these events are really helpful to get general education out to the community,” Wallace said. “Any kind of dialogue is never a bad thing.”

Johnson agreed.

“Sure, we will face challenges. Yet, a strong partnership between our great community and our dedicated City team allows us to manage these challenges and opportunities,” Johnson said.

Children were also asked to give feedback in a kids-only planning session for the new playground at Sinsheimer Park. The unique playground opened in November and includes unique attractions to engage kids in new ways, including a miniature zipline.

An informational video will also be presented at the event to share the key information about this year’s report, followed by a Q&A session with Johnson and Harmon.

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