In Norwalk, the city has long been fighting to rein in spending and control variable expenses. It’s because of that work that the city has been able to weather the storm of the economic downturn – made worse by the unexpected and deep state raids of local revenues.

In his first “State of the City” address, Norwalk City Manager Mike Egan said that no raid has been more detrimental to the city than the recent decision to end Redevelopment Agencies. The $9 million that the city lost will mostly go to schools – replacing other revenues that dried up allowing them to break even. However, the city is the one that loses. Redevelopment had helped expand commerce in the city, including the building of a new Walmart, two Targets, a 20-screen movie theatre, and an assisted living facility.

Because the city had been proactive when it came to controlling spending, many of the other programs funded by redevelopment have continued.

Egan said that the economy is now a “new economy,” meaning that residents shouldn’t expect it to be like it was before. But the city is learning how to operate more efficiently, and that the city will be stronger than ever because of the lessons learned.

From the Los Angeles Wave:

California has lowered its budget deficit from $20 billion last year to $5 billion this year, but much of those funds have come from takeaways from cities, said City Manager Mike Egan in his first Norwalk State of the City address Feb. 24 at the Doubletree Hotel.

Egan last fall came over from Bellflower to replace the retiring Ernie Garcia.

“I don’t plan to make any large exterior changes,” Egan said about city services and programs.

Read the full article here.