Preserving police and fire services is a primary objective. Both departments are currently at minimum staffing levels, which has led to delayed response times and the elimination of programs.

The deferred maintenance of our streets is evidenced by the potholes and temporary patches.

Perhaps more important, utilizing Measure V funds for economic development will stimulate business activity and facilitate in the expansion of the city's overall economic base. It is the growth of our local economy that will provide revenues to sustain city services over time.

The City Council will continue to look for opportunities to reorganize, streamline and improve services to the public. Passage of Measure V will not deter the City Council's efforts to cut the city's operating budget and make changes to the way we conduct business.

As your representatives, council members take their responsibility to move toward financial stability seriously.

This includes our ongoing obligation to address pension and health costs as well as the legislation that limits our ability to control personnel costs.

Measure V is a solid investment in our community.

<i>Gary Plass is mayor of Healdsburg, and Jim Wood is a member of the Healdsburg City Council.</i>