After a productive 2022, city council held its biannual retreat in January to strategize for 2023. We discussed the city manager’s annual work plan, which covers staff goals for the year as well as city council’s priorities for the next six months.
A recurring theme at the retreat was the city’s ongoing efforts to become more resilient (or more capable of managing unexpected events). As our business community continues to manage inflation and a challenging labor market, the city is working to develop a business support program. This program would connect businesses with experts to learn how to adapt to changing market conditions.
The city will also be strengthening its emergency management plans in 2023. This effort will build on the hazard mitigation plans we have in place with the county and allow us to be better prepared for situations that arise, such as the need for emergency sheltering.
This year will also see the city finish its plans for mental health and diversity, equity, equality and inclusion. We will also conduct our comprehensive plan update. The goal of the comprehensive plan is to articulate Edgewater’s overall vision, which will be established by the community through an extensive planning process and resident input. Once complete, the plan will serve as a framework and guide for community aspirations and intentions for years to come.
One topic discussed at length during the retreat was tenant rights. The topic has become an important issue as Edgewater has seen significant increases in home prices and rising rents. An example of this was the sale and ongoing renovation of Edgewater’s largest apartment complex, Terra Village (now Edge 26) last June.
In conversations with community members, I have heard first-hand about the impacts of current market conditions. The top issue, increased rents, has forced many longtime residents to relocate out of Edgewater. Other concerns include communication barriers with landlords and unaddressed maintenance issues.
The city does not currently have the authority to prevent large increases in rents, although this situation could change if the state legislature acts on the issue this year. What can be done now is better communication and enforcement of tenant rights. Fortunately, our rental property maintenance code has a good foundation of rules that protect renters. The city’s focus this year will be to help communicate and enforce these rules and better empower our residents to ensure safe and healthy living conditions.
I am optimistic that we can execute our plans and end the year more resilient than we started. If you have questions about our 2023 plans, please feel free to reach out to me.
Contact Edgewater Mayor John Beltrone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-643-6077.