Mayor Judy Ritter touted one of Vista's major achievements last year as being the victory in the prevailing wage dispute from the California Supreme Court, but as of August 16, 2013 EDD statistics show 8.7 percent of Vistans are unemployed and it seems those 4,400 people would be less able to share in the celebratory mood.
In her State of the City speech last year, Ritter said:
"In ruling in favor of the city of Vista, the State Supreme Court upheld the authority of charter cities to exercise
control over their 'municipal affairs,' including whether a charter city should pay prevailing wages on contracts funded with local revenues. This ruling is important, as it acknowledges Vista’s right to exercise prudent fiscal controls resulting from its charter status.
This ruling, and the three-year battle before the decision, made a difference for all of the 121 charter cities across the State of California, said Ritter.
Further she believes:
"An adverse ruling would have limited the means of charter cities, such as the City of Vista, to efficiently deliver to its residents and businesses a range of needed public safety, park, and other facilities. This ruling also makes a difference for all of the 121 charter cities across the State of California."
The City Council also managed to set five goals which Ritter stated are:
- Paseo Santa Fe Project
- Public Safety (maintain)
- Business Recruitment, Retention and Expansion
- Reduce Structural Deficit
- Improve Roads
"These goals were and will continue to be instrumental in guiding the City Council," said Ritter, "as we make policy and financial decisions for the City."
The website city-data reports that the estimated median Vista household income in 2011 was $41,599. That is down from the year 2000, when it reportedly was $42,594. As a matter of comparison, the website states that the 2011 median income for California was $57,287.
With the mayor's term ending in 2014, along with Council members Dave Cowles and John Aguilera, potential candidates will soon be facing the issue of unemployed Vistans.
The Business Park survey she cited in her speech questioned and received answers from 96 companies in the Vista Business Park, and she stated:
"More than 95% stated they were not expecting to move outside of Vista and 84% said they were satisfied with their current location. The businesses responded with a positive outlook with 77% expecting business to grow over the next three years, an increase from 2011, in which 60% expected business to grow. "
The most important point she made, for the thousands of unemployed Vistans or graduates still actively looking for work, may be this:
"None of the respondents expected hiring to decline, with 70% expecting to increase hiring over the next three years."