A Few Minutes with the Mayor – November 2016
Here we are—election time again, with the media blasting out the latest “he said”…”she said” news daily until one is worn out! Therefore, it is with some reluctance that I bring up the subject of our local election… something I hadn’t even considered doing except that people about town have been stopping me and asking, “Why do you want to run again?” It’s a good question and deserving of a forthright answer.
It’s true that we’ve accomplished a lot in just a short time. Since being in office, we’ve done the following:
Sold excess land in Forest Park bringing in $680,000 to the City as well as 40 acres with a parking lot for park visitors!
Paid off the Hinger House debt of almost $300,000 incurred when the Police Department was moved!
Acquired the Courthouse and the Beekman House, along with other properties at no cost to the City!
Under state mandates to remove the dam, and with money from the land sale, the City has finished the task well below cost estimates!
Remodeled the historic Courthouse into a 21st-Century operating facility while restoring and preserving the integrity of the building for future generations to enjoy! Not only is it our new City Hall, the grounds have become the focus for activities such as the Farmer’s Market, July 4th picnics, and lawn concerts. All of this was done with Urban Renewal Money and No Increase in Taxes. And was done well under budget and included seismic retrofitting. Your City Hall may be the safest building in the City!
The sale of our old City Hall building brought in almost $400,000!
Revision of our outdated City Codes… a major task!
We have revised the half-century-old City Charter (1951) and it is up for your review in this election. This task was long overdue with the old Charter containing illegal provisions under federal law.
These were just some of the bigger tasks accomplished. So the question remains… Why not retire and rest on these laurels? The answer is simple… because we did something else in this time. We developed a working team who accomplished all these tasks.
Some serious issues must be addressed in the next few years, not the least of which includes a review of our urban growth boundaries. This is a challenge, as we must maintain our city landscape while bringing in some acreage, resulting in a tax base increase.
Also, we must find a solution to our growing transportation problem. Have you noticed the increase in traffic?
Additionally, we need to find a way to stabilize funding for our Police and Fire Departments! Our citizens obviously expect both essential services from their government.
Already into a five-year program for review and development, we have to analyze and arrive at a solution for the need for a new fire house.
These are just a few of the tasks that lie ahead. It took work but we have the team to do it and I wish to continue leading the team!
And that is why I’m running again. I love this City and I want to see it move ahead for the benefit of all citizens. We have a good team and I’d like to see it remain intact.
I will end this on a thought from a great American… Will Rogers
All politics is applesauce!