Mayor Joe McComb delivered his annual progress report of city operations at the “State of The City” Wednesday. He spoke to a sold out audience at the American Bank Center.
McComb touched on some of the challenges of the past year, as well as success stories. He said extensive growth at the Port of Corpus Christi has created new jobs, and said the revival of the Downtown area is a positive economic boost.
The mayor also spoke about the future of the city and honed in on a handful of specific goals. He said the three areas the Corpus Christi City Council plans to focus on in the coming months is a direct result of recurring issues taxpayers have been vocal about.
McComb said it’s important to be “visionary” when planning for the future of our city.
The first area that will be receiving extra attention is Development Services. That department is responsible for planning and permitting activities. Building services, engineering, zoning and major projects fall under that umbrella.
“We want to streamline that process to make it more understandable, more consistent, and transparent. Everybody likes the word transparent,” McComb said. “We want folks to feel like they’re being treated as customers when they come to get services, or have questions or have permits.”
The public has also expressed concerns over funding and staffing for law enforcement and first responders.
“Each year that we will address those personnel needs, and try to meet those staffing levels that will continue to give you first-class response,” McComb said, “And set that up in a program so that it doesn’t just come up as a surprise every budget process.”
Water supply is a priority after recurring water woes in recent years.
McComb said the city is working with the Economic Development Corporation, the Port of Corpus Christi, and the San Patricio Water District to create an innovative game plan.
“Right now our water supply is dependent upon what falls out of the sky,” McComb said. “Some of the industry leaders back in 2010 to 2014 said we’ve got to address our long term water supply.”
The mayor added he believes saltwater desalination will bring big change to the community’s water supply moving forward.