January is a time of New Year Resolutions, so here goes…
The first resolution for City Hall is to fully commit to our other resolutions. Too many of us start the New Year with great intentions to (fill in the blank) exercise more, eat healthier, sleep longer, save more only to quickly give up. Not that any of these are unimportant, we simply get distracted or overwhelmed by other daily obligations. It is a challenge for any of us to commit to and stick with our resolutions, it is a larger effort to keep an entire City focused on common goals and objectives. Understanding this, our New Year’s resolutions include:
- Re-imagining our Historic Downtown as an Arts, Entertainment and Cultural District. The first of its kind in three counties.
- Continuing our efforts in growing our Lakefront District a destination.
- Assisting our manufacturers in attracting a skilled and motivated workforce as well as helping promote the unique services and products they provide.
- Identifying underutilized commercial and manufacturing properties and creating strategies to make them more productive.
- Creating opportunities for new housing near our Historic Downtown.
- Working to create a balance in our merchants and restaurants in the Downtown mix in order to enhance day and evening activity.
- Providing access and activities along our riverfront.
These are ambitious objectives individually, an especially exciting challenge when considered collectively. The effort is more complex given the economic headwinds we face; stagnant revenues and increased expenses. Fortunately, the team assembled at City Hall is equal to the task and anxious to meet the challenge. We are committed to using each of our New Year’s resolutions to enhance the quality of life in our City and stimulate economic growth. This work will be challenging and we will face obstacles as we move forward, but with focus and a healthy work ethic, we expect progress. It will certainly require cooperation and collaboration from all stakeholders, but we are a City known for this.
For me personally, I resolve to exercise more, eat healthier, sleep longer, and save more. I know I will be successful through January, but I cannot guarantee how long after. I can promise our work for the City will be a year-long, intensive effort.