We have lived through great times and Independence certainly has much to show for it, but times have changed. The investments that have been made over the past fifteen years have resulted in beautiful downtown improvements, improved streets and sidewalks, a new library, a multi‐screen cinema, the Riverview Park Amphitheater, a new Civic Center, new businesses relocating to our community, and improved City services. There is much about Independence to take pride in.
The focus of all of these investments has been and will certainly continue to be to enhance the quality of life, create economic opportunities and provide improved services. To the most part our strategy was successful, and working as a community we accomplished a great deal over the past decade and a half. However, the 2008 crash has been the worst since the Great Depression and the economic downturn and Great Recession have resulted in the obstacles we are facing today.
To address this issue, over the last two years the City has eliminated 20% of its workforce, frozen cost-of‐living increases for most staff, spent down reserves to uncomfortably low levels and raised utility rates (which are still below Statewide averages). While these measures have helped a great deal, they have not been enough to stem off the need for further actions.
In the spirit of community partnership, unionized City staff have recently stepped up and committed to long term union agreements with little to no salary increases through June of 2015! Similarly, non‐union staff have gone three years with little to no salary increases as well. We appreciate the sacrifice and commitment the employees have made to serve you, our residents.
If you have questions about the City's current financial obstacles, you can provide your input here, or contact me directly - my contact information is located in the right sidebar of this screen. You can also provide additional input through the city finance survey here. We value all input on this important issue and will respond to all inquiries promptly.