Writing this prior to Groundhog Day, and without the help of Punxsutawney Phil, I’ll dare not make any weather predictions. Unfortunately, having no assistance from the furry little brown fella, local meteorologists have had to rely on their computers and satellites to do their prognosticating. Per usual, they’ve been right as much as they’ve been wrong in their forecasting of snow event totals. Regardless of whether (pun intended) they’ve missed the mark or not, Kirtland has seen our fair share of snow and cold thus far. Thanks to our Service Department for working around the clock to keep our streets safe and passable. A few of these snow events have been beyond extreme, and I really appreciate their efforts.

Later this month, I’ll be submitting our 2022 budget to City Council for their review. The conversation will highlight an increased General Fund carryover balance into 2022, reaching just over $2,000,000. This much healthier balance results from two years of hard work managing labor expenses, reduced spending, and fortuitus tax revenues in 2021. This year’s budget appropriation will continue to put our savings to work for our taxpayers while maintaining our quest to build for the future.

The budget request to Council will ask to combine funding from the following sources: the recent American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), savings from the 2021 road program, and a commitment of several hundred thousand dollars from the general fund. As we build our budget and delineate a street paving program for 2022, we will continue to have discourse as to what should be the long-term funding solution for our many miles of roads. I am committed to an open dialogue related to future road financing with both Council and our community. Over the next few months, I will ask Council to participate in and assist with community forums that will help all of us work together to establish a long-term road paving solution.

In the coming months, we will be working with members of Council and Zoning to create a ten-year comprehensive plan for Kirtland. Led by Economic Development coordinator, Eddy Eckart, the effort will include key stakeholders and draw from last year’s resident survey to help develop a strategy and plan to build Kirtland’s future.

We are also looking forward to continuing our momentum from last year’s successful community events and creating new experiences for our residents. With the help of our churches, the Kirtland schools, business community, and great civic and resident volunteers, we anticipate 5k events, markets, concerts, and more.

As we all know, Kirtland is one of the best and safest cities around. We are blessed to have such a giving and spirited community who looks out for one another and works together to solve our challenges. With that in mind, we are poised to have an excellent year with the common goal of moving our city forward.

Thanks to you all for your input, contributions, and volunteerism. It is humbling to serve this city, and I am proud to be your mayor.

Mayor Kevin Potter