Port Townsend launches financial video series

Public engagement sought for sustaining city

PORT TOWNSEND — The City of Port Townsend has launched the first of five short videos showcasing its Financial Sustainability Project.

The videos are meant to inform and inspire public awareness and engagement on a host of interrelated decisions facing the community over the coming years about its collective future, City Manager John Mauro said in a press release.

The first of the videos are on the city’s Facebook page (www. facebook.com/cityofpt) and on the city website at www.cityofpt.us/videos.

The first video out this week is an introduction to the project. A video on streets will launch next week, followed by a parks video the following week, a housing video after that, and it will finish with a video on core services and what’s next.

Mauro said the city is in a solid financial position but that its “ability to continue to do so is hindered by increasing costs in excess of revenues and a steady erosion of services and level of service.”

The problem is compounded by the need to address deferred maintenance projects for streets, parks, facilities and fleet in which limited or no direct revenue is currently available, as well as the continuous and debilitating pressures associated with housing supply and affordability, Mauro said.

“We all know Port Townsend is a special place. Unless we take decisive action to plan for the future we want, there’s a lot to lose by simply reacting to or accepting what we get,” Mauro said.

“These videos aim to spread the word so that our community can be fully engaged in how we move forward together on things that affect our lives and our future.”

The city established a Financial Sustainability Task Force to assist with a review of the city’s current financial position and identify options for the future.

The task force began its work at its first meeting on Nov. 18 and has met five times, including one joint workshop with the Port Townsend City Council.

They will make a recommendation of long-term financial sustainability options to the city council this summer.

“We recognize that many of our residents cannot be engaged in the details of how our city works, for any number of reasons,” said Shelly Leavens, communications and marketing manager, who is spearheading the video project.

“These videos take a creative approach to allowing everyone to come up to speed quickly with the Financial Sustainability Initiative and why it matters to all of us,” she continued.

“Our future depends on getting everyone engaged, so please watch the videos and share them on social media.”

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