Mayor Strange's 'New Year's Message' - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Mayor Strange's 'New Year's Message'

Todd Strange, Mayor of Montgomery Todd Strange, Mayor of Montgomery

MONTGOMERY, AL - Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange is issuing a New Year's Message to all the citizens of the capital city. Here's what he has to say.

Official Statement:

FOR THE LAST TEN MONTHS, I'VE HAD THE GREAT PRIVELEGE OF BEING THE MAYOR OF MONTGOMERY. 

THIS PAST YEAR WE HAVE FACED MANY CHALLENGES AND ACCOMPLISHED MUCH OF WHICH WE CAN BE PROUD. 

LAST YEAR, MONTGOMERY'S CRIME RATE DROPPED 11-1/2  PERCENT.  CHIEF BAYLOR AND HIS ORGANIZATION ARE DOING A GREAT JOB, ALONG WITH THE MANY LAW ABIDING CITIZENS WHO ARE SAYING "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH" AND TAKING A STAND TO MAKE US SAFER. 

OUR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND FIRE DEPARTMENTS HAVE MET SEVERAL CHALLENGES AS WELL. 

IN 2010, WE'LL CONTINUE TO PROACTIVELY PROMOTE PUBLIC SAFETY BY ADDING SUB-STATIONS AS WELL AS INCREASING OFFICERS AND TECHNOLOGY TO HELP THE FIGHT. 

WE HOPE YOU APPRECIATE THE STEPS WE ARE TAKING TO BE BETTER STEWARDS OF YOUR TAX DOLLARS.  FEWER EMPLOYEES, FEWER CARS GOING HOME, AND MORE EFFICIENCY. 

OUR REDUCED 2010 SMART BUDGET IS TRENDING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION; AND WE WILL LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED WITH A GOAL TO CUT ANOTHER FIVE MILLION THIS YEAR AND NEXT. 

PROACTIVE MEASURES IN OUR CITY'S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM WILL SAVE NEARLY ONE AND A HALF MILLION DOLLAR IF OUR TREND CONTINUES. 

RECYCLING… UNFORTUNATELY, ONLY FIVE PERCENT OF OUR CITY'S WASTE WAS BEING RECYCLED.  DISCONTINUING CURBSIDE PICK-UP IS SAVING US HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS… AND AT THE SAME TIME, EXPANDED USE OF PRIVATE RECYCLING IS BEING PUSHED WITH GOOD SUCCESS AND CITIZENS ARE TAKING MATERIALS TO SELECTED LOCATIONS; AND MORE ARE BEING ADDED.  RECYCLING IS ALIVE IN MONTGOMERY. 

WE ARE MOVING FORWARD WITH PLASMA GASIFICATION PLANNING THAT WILL CONVERT 100 PERCENT OF OUR SOLID WASTE INTO ENERGY AND USABLE BY-PRODUCTS, WHILE SAVING MILLIONS. 

MONTGOMERY WILL BE AMONG THE FIRST TO MAKE USE OF THIS INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY, SIGNALLING THAT WE ARE INDEED A GREEN CITY. 

OUR PREFERRED WAY TO INCREASE REVENUES IS NOT TO RAISE OUR TAXES; BUT INSTEAD, TO GO AFTER THOSE WHO REFUSE TO PAY WHAT THEY RIGHTFULLY OWE. 

WE HAVE A CONTRACT PERSON WHOSE SOLE MISSION IS TO IDENTIFY FIRMS THAT AREN'T PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE.  SHE HAS ALREADY IDENTIFIED 44; AND WITH THE HELP OF OUR FINANCE DEPARTMENT, WE EXPECT MILLIONS WILL BE ADDED TO OUR TAX BASE OVER TIME WITH THIS PROGRAM. 

THE FORMATION OF A SPORTS COMMISSION WILL LEAD TO MORE ATHLETIC EVENTS TAKING PLACE IN THE RIVER REGION; AND WILL HELP US FOCUS ON OUR FACILITY NEEDS.  WE'LL REAP THE BENEFITS OF THESE EFFORTS AS INCREASED VISITORS PATRONIZE OUR BUSINESSES. 

WE'LL CONTINUE TO MAKE USE OF A SPECIALIST WHOSE JOB IS TO ATTRACT NEW RETAIL.  AND WE ARE WORKING ON SEVERAL COMMITMENTS THAT OTHERWISE MAY HAVE GONE ELSEWHERE OR NOT MATERIALIZED. 

WORKING WITH THE CHAMBER AND OTHERS, WE AGGRESSIVELY PURSUE NEW JOBS FOR OUR COMMUNITY. AS WE SPEAK, THERE IS AN UNPRECEDENTED NUMBER OF COMPANIES THAT HAVE IDENTIFIED MONTGOMERY AS AMONG THEIR CHOICES. 

I HOPE EVERYONE IS ENJOYING THE NEW ATMOSPHERE IN OUR DOWNTOWN.  MORE RESTAURANTS AND PLACES TO SOCIALIZE ARE MAKING THE CAPITAL CITY A DESTINATION SPOT FOR CONVENTIONS AND SPECIAL EVENTS;  WHICH HELPS OUR ENTIRE ECONOMY. 

IN THE YEAR AHEAD, WE ALREADY HAVE MUCH SCHEDULED:  ALABAMA MUSIC HALL OF FAME, ESPN'S BASS FISHING CHAMPIONSHIP, BUCKMASTERS, AIR FORCE TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE, SECOND ANNUAL HALF-MARATHON, HIGH SCHOOL ALL-STARS AND 750 HYUNDAI DEALERS WILL BE HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME. 

IN ADDITION TO DOWNTOWN, WE ARE WORKING HARD TO ENSURE OTHER AREAS OF OUR CITY ARE ABLE TO MOVE FORWARD AS WELL. 

WE HAVE GREAT EXPECTATION, THAT THE NEW OWNERS OF MONTGOMERY MALL WILL BE SUCCESSFUL IN MAKING THAT A VIBRANT CENTER; WHICH WILL SPUR DEVELOPMENT ALONG THE SOUTHERN AND EASTERN BOULEVARDS. 

WE CONTINUE THE ENHANCEMENT OF WEST MONTGOMERY, INCLUDING FAIRVIEW AVENUE, A KEY GATEWAY TO OUR COMMUNITY.  THE COMPLETION OF THE NEW CARVER HIGH SCHOOL, THE RESTORATION OF  GENETTA STREAM AND THE ADDITION OF LANIER PLACE SUB-DIVISION WILL ENCOURAGE  FURTHER GROWTH ALONG THIS CORRIDOR.  STAY TUNED, MORE IS ON THE WAY. 

WE ARE USING SPECIFIC FEDERAL STIMULUS FUNDS TO BUY FORECLOSED PROPERTIES FOR REDEVELOPMENT, TO HELP STABILIZE NEIGHBORHOODS IN NEED. 

WE WILL ALSO RECEIVE 11 MILLION DOLLARS PLUS IN FEDERAL MONEY TO REPLACE THE LISTER HILL HEALTH CLINIC.  THIS PROJECT, IMPORTANT FOR OUR HEALTH CARE DELIVERY, IS THE RESULT OF HARD WORK BY MANY, AND IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF WHAT CAN BE DONE WHEN WE ALL WORK TOGETHER. 

ONE OF THE COMPLEX ISSUES WE'RE WORKING ON IS TO REDUCE OUR SALES TAX BELOW TEN PERCENT. THE CITY AND COUNTY, ALONG WITH KNOWLEDGEABLE EXPERTS ARE WORKING THIS ISSUE. 

ADDITIONALLY, WE CONTINUE TO TRY TO MOVE THE CONVERSATION AWAY FROM THE BOARD OF EDUCATION'S POLITICS TO FOCUSING ON OUR KIDS AND HELPING OUR SUPERINTENDENT EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN.  

WE HAVE RAISED CLOSE TO 50,000 DOLLARS, ONE HALF OF OUR GOAL, TO BUY CLASSROOM SUPPLIES TO HELP TEACHERS TEACH.  YOU CAN HELP BY GOING TO ANY REGIONS BRANCH TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION. 

MONTGOMERY HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE COULD DREAM AND HAVE THOSE DREAMS COME TRUE.  I DREAM OF A SAFE, VIBRANT AND GROWING  MONTGOMERY, IN ITS ENTIRETY THAT WE ALL CAN BE PROUD TO CALL HOME.  I INVITE EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU TO COME DREAM WITH US AND DO ALL YOU CAN TO MAKE THAT DREAM COME TRUE.

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