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By Andrea Swayne
Mayor Carlos N. Olvera delivered the State of the City Address at the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce’s annual luncheon on May 15, at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa.
The mayor’s speech, “Catch the Wave” summarized the current economic state of Dana Point and highlighted the city’s successes in 2014, including a downturn in crime rates, an uptick in residential and commercial construction and an increase in restaurant revenue tax and transient occupancy tax.
“I’m asking you to catch the wave; catch the wave we are on right now,” Olvera said, adding that, with regard to TOT, “Let visitors pay for it while we enjoy it.”
Olvera announced TOT increased by 9 percent, to more than $11 million, and sales tax increased by 4 percent over last year. He noted the city’s growing revenue despite the recent increase in infrastructure investments.
“I was very honored to give the address,” Olvera said. “I received a lot of feedback regarding the chamber’s agreement that the city has come a long way and continues its forward momentum toward becoming an even better five-star destination.”
The chamber also presented its annual Beautification Awards to those who have invested in the aesthetic betterment of the city via construction, landscaping, reconstruction or preservation.
This year’s recipients were Waterman’s Harbor Restaurant, Advanced Dermatology LLC, Ocean Ranch Village Shopping Center and the City of Dana Point, for its recent drought-tolerant landscaping installation at the corner of Coast Highway and Palisades Drive/Beach Road.
City Engineeer Matt Sinacori was honored with an Outstanding Achievement Award for his efforts as a “superstar for small business” during Town Center-Lantern District construction.
“We’re all in the same boat,” Olvera said, wrapping up his time at the podium and inviting attendees to stay involved with city efforts in the future. “We’re all trying to make this the best place on Earth. It has not happened overnight. Be involved, catch the wave, and let’s enjoy life.”—Allison Jarrell contributed to this report.