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State of the City is Pretty Good, Says Mayor

A positive financial outlook and more accolades for retiring City Manager Steve Burrell mark State of the City address Thursday night.

With the city in a positive cash flow situation and the Macpherson Oil lawsuit settled, Hermosa Beach Mayor Howard Fishman was in a very good mood Thursday night for the State of the City address, sponsored by the Hermosa Beach Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Bureau.

"I'm going to wing it," Fishman told the standing room only crowd at the Beach House Hotel. "This is Hermosa Beach. This is a very free-styling city."

Fishman then took the audience through a series of slides, pointing up increases in the city's General Fund (up 4 percent from last year), showing off increased revenue from property and sales taxes (sales tax revenue is up 11 percent over last year) and pointing up such achievements as the city's balanced budget, the revision of the business license tax schedule and the employee pension agreement.

"That's music to our ears," Fishman said about the city being fiscally sound.

Fishman also discussed the basics of the Macpherson Oil settlement, acknowledging that it was controversial.

"Some people were not happy and that's okay," Fishman said. "I'm on the terrific side about the settlement."

He also pointed up that the new drilling proposal will eventually go before the voters in the city.

"I tell you what, if you're not registered voters now, go down and register now," he said.

He also talked about the city's goal to promote "healthier, greener lifestyles" first with the outdoor smoking ban, and the recently passed polystyrene ban. In addition, he said that Hermosa Beach will join with six other cities for a comprehensive Bicycle Master Plan.

The evening finished with more accolades for retiring City Manager Steve Burrell, including a video of various former mayors and councilmembers saluting Burrell and sharing memories.

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