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January 27, 2022

Guest View, Zach Hilton: Happy New Year

2021 is in the rear-view mirror, and with multiple vaccines for Covid-19 being distributed, we have found a way for our lives to return to normal. I received the Pfizer vaccine and booster. I’ve had no side effects and I urge you to get the vaccine too. Please continue to wear a mask while in public. Although the third year of the pandemic is rapidly approaching, there have been many victories in our climb toward equality.

With the 2021-2022 legislative work plan already established, the Gilroy City Council will dive right into many items that need to be completed in 2022. Once the new City Council is seated after the November 2022 election, a new legislative work plan will be established. 

Staff recently reported an unaudited $3.7 million surplus due to sales/property taxes, and we have many great opportunities through public/private partnerships coming before the Council in 2022. Funding from HUD for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) & Housing Trust Fund (HTF) was just opened for applications in FY 2022-2023 and 2023-2024. The City expects to receive an estimated $500,000 in CDBG funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

The primary objectives of the CDBG Program include activities that benefit low-income households, aid in the prevention of slums or blight, or meet an urgent community need. The City’s HTF program provides additional funding of $168,000 for the services related to housing and homelessness. For information, visit cityofgilroy.org/bids.aspx?bidID=99

This year I will be focusing on continuing to move Gilroy into the 21st century, building upon the relationships I’ve made, legislative items in our work plan and introduction of new items. We will focus on our Zoning Ordinance (Bike Parking, Noise Impacting Residentially Zoned Properties), Safe Storage of Firearms, Tobacco Prevention, Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, Housing Element 2023-2031, In-Lieu Fees/Nexus Studies, Parking Management/Enforcement, Community Plan to End Homelessness, Climate Action Benchmarks/REACH Codes, Safe Parking Program, RV Towing Policy, Wage Theft, Minimum Wage, and State Legislative Bills.

All of these legislative changes will make Gilroy more livable for all and the path forward is clear to me. It will require everyone’s voices to be heard during public comment, focused work from my student interns, and I’ll be here to guide you through it. From my office and family, I wish you all a happy and healthy new year.

Zach Hilton is a Gilroy City Councilmember.

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