Verner: City Will Emphasize Ways To Support Businesses & Create Jobs
SPOKANE, Wash. - In her fourth State of the City address, Spokane Mayor Mary Verner told citizens that the City will emphasize ways to support businesses and create jobs as part of a strategy to help get the local economy moving.
"2010 was about positioning for economic recovery; 2011 is about pursuing the recovery with vigor and enthusiasm," Mayor Verner said. "We're transitioning from surviving to leaning forward. We're starting fresh. As the gospel song goes, ‘It's a new day, and a new beginning.'"
The Mayor delivered the address to about 350 people in the ballroom at the Spokane Convention Center as part of a morning membership meeting of Greater Spokane Incorporated.
The address also was shown live on CityCable 5, the City of Spokane's government-access cable station.
The Mayor talked about work to encourage development in targeted areas throughout the City, including East Hillyard, the University District, the area around North Foothills and Nevada, and adjacent to the Waste to Energy Facility in the West Plains.
She explained a program to accelerate some public infrastructure work into 2011 and 2012 and another to help businesses get through construction.
"Small business owners told us they have a need for greater certainty, the need for better access to City services and resources, the need for consistent leadership, and the need for stronger support for the local business community," Mayor Verner said. "We are responding—with creativity and innovation."
The Mayor's talk also presented many accomplishments from 2010 and highlighted examples of the City's awards, innovation, and customer focus.
She pointed out changes to snow plowing plans, the completion of Street Bond and Parks Bond work, collaboration with private business and other governments, and projects to find efficiencies throughout the City organization.
Among the highlights was the City's work to close multi-million-dollar budget shortfalls over the last three years without raising taxes.
"There is not recipe for how to do that, but we knew it had to be done," the Mayor said. "Our citizens rely on the City to provide police and fire protection, street maintenance, parks and libraries, and support for the private-sector economy. So we got creative."
Mayor Verner took the opportunity to honor citizens for exemplifying what she calls the "Spirit of Spokane." Those honored included:
- Greg Terhaar, an advocate for people with disabilities and member of the City's reconstituted Human Rights Commission who also has Down Syndrome himself.
- Scott Brunell, a City Parks & Recreation Department employee who restored a totem on Canada Island in Riverfront Park.
- Dr. Kevin Oldenburg, founder and owner of Matrical who also serves on the board of the Health Services & Sciences Authority (HSSA).
- LaVerne Biel, chair of the East Spokane Business Association and leader in the Spokane International District who also runs her own business, Access Telecom.
- The downtown workers who found the bomb on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and reported it.
The Mayor also distributed a 2011 Progress Report at the address with information on 2010 accomplishments, the City's budget, and more.
The report, along with a full text version of the Mayor's address, are attached.
The Mayor's address also will be replayed on CityCable 5 on:
- Friday, Feb. 11, at 6 p.m.
- Saturday, Feb. 12, at 9 p.m.
- Sunday, Feb. 13, at 11 a.m.
- Monday, Feb. 14, at 11 a.m.
- Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 9 p.m.
- Friday, Feb. 18, at 9 p.m.
- Saturday, Feb. 19, at noon.
- Sunday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m.
CityCable 5 also will add the presentation to its video archive on the web at www.spokanecity.org/services/citycable5/streamingmedia/. CityCable 5 is found on channel five on the Comcast cable system in Spokane.
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