Grand Terrace deserves a leader who will take a stand for fiscal responsibility, guided by core principles, who will not be frozen by obstacles or “things not going as planned.” Grand Terrace deserves a leader who continues to see the value in remaining an incorporated City even during tough fiscal times. One who believes the value of a City is not measured in how many perks the City Government can dole out at the tax payer expense, but instead believes the value of a City lies in its community, its local control of property use by our residents and fair zoning standards.
Early in our city’s history, Grand Terrace was built on the efforts of community volunteers with a strong sense of fiscally prudent approach to government provided services. In the early days of Grand Terrace, the city government was not viewed as the source of all the solutions for all the residents of the city. Grand Terrace was designed to be a contract city with a small staff of dedicated employees focused on providing only essential services. Since we were a city of limited government-funded resources, the community relied on community groups run by volunteers, to augment the city staff in certain areas, such as planning and organizing community events or running the sporting and recreational activities. The residents of Grand Terrace owe these city founders and community volunteers a debt of gratitude for showing us how this can be done.
Through the City’s brief history we have moved from these founding ideals to one of government overreach that has competed with our community groups to provide community events instead of partnering with these groups to make dollars go farther. Sometime over the years we lost our way. This change came about slowly and began when we started to compare ourselves to surrounding Cities and the services they offered. We then tried to compete in providing similar levels of service despite Grand Terrace having far fewer resources. What we need to do now is play to our strengths and do the best we can with what we have. Grand Terrace needs to focus on a Safe community, good schools, community involvement and fiscally responsible government. Doing all these things will enrich an already strong community, build value back into our community and enhance property values of our existing housing and commercial properties as well as to make Grand Terrace attractive to additional commercial and residential developers.