Message From The City Manager:
It is my pleasure to present the 2020 Annual Report for the City of Pasadena. This report highlights major accomplishments and initiatives over the past year along with key financial information for the City of Pasadena.
2020 was a year unlike any other. Our community and City government were forced to contend with the twin disasters of a worldwide pandemic and associated economic recession, all the while maintaining a high level of municipal services.
No organization, public or private, has been unaffected by COVID-19. The shift to remote working and online meetings, particularly those of the City Council, has been an adjustment for many. In a municipal setting however, many of the services we provide, including law enforcement, fire protection, street and park maintenance, and water and power services cannot be performed remotely. Consequently, a major focus for much of the past year has been ensuring the safety of our employees in the workplace while still being able to meet the needs of our community and deliver the same high quality services to which they are accustomed.
As one of only four cities in the state of California with its own health department, Pasadena has been much more involved in pandemic response than most other cities. The Pasadena Public Health Department provided direct health-related services to our community that would otherwise have been provided by the county. This effort seemed overwhelming at times, but our health department was not alone. Virtually every City department was engaged in the COVID-19 response, providing everything from procurement of personal protective equipment for employees to contact tracing of community members exposed to COVID-19 to enforcement of public health protocols.
The impact of COVID-19 on our local economy has been significant, sharply reducing local sales tax and other important sources of revenue. Even more critically, the pandemic has threatened the existence of many businesses, particularly restaurants, of which Pasadena has several hundred. The City has supported local business through a variety of efforts, including a moratorium on commercial and residential evictions; financial grants for small businesses; conversion of sidewalks and streets to support outdoor dining in accordance with health orders; and a rebate program from the City’s electric utility, which returned roughly $11 million back to electric customers, with the largest rebates (in the thousands of dollars) going to commercial customers, including restaurants.
Even if it felt as such, COVID-19 was not the only noteworthy event of 2020. As you’ll see in reviewing this report, your City government was busy throughout the year continuing our mission of delivering exemplary municipal services responsive to the entire community and consistent with our history, culture and
Steven B. Mermell