Pinecrest Mayor Cindy Lerner delivered her last State of the Village Address on December 4th at Evelyn Greer Park. She reviewed the past seven years in a retrospective, talking about improvements and enhancements made by her and the council.
“We have so much to be proud of in Pinecrest,” said Mayor Lerner. “As we approach the 20th anniversary of our village, I can tell you the state of the village is strong, vibrant and well positioned to move forward.”
Mayor Lerner said that in the past there was little in the way of citizen engagement or input and a need for a better means of delivery of information to Pinecrest constituents.
“That has all changed dramatically over the past seven years. Resident engagement, and service first, exceeding expectations has been the hallmark of our administration.”
She mentioned the monthly Electronic Newsletter and the quarterly Leisure Guide, as well as a Mobile App for smartphones.
“In 2008, there was only one Citizen Advisory committee, for Pinecrest Gardens,” said Lerner. “We now have an Education Advisory committee, a Transportation Advisory committee and a Community center Advisory committee and a Youth Advisory council. I am particularly proud of our 20 member Youth Council, students from Middle and High school have been involved in a civic education and service to our village for the past seven years.”
Lerner said that the most obvious and notable improvement over the past seven years has been to Pinecrest Gardens, from the botanic quality of the Gardens themselves, to the development of a vivacious and extremely popular cultural arts venue and program. She talked about the creation of the Pinecrest People mover circulator which reduces traffic congestion around the schools and lowers the carbon footprint. And an important new program.
“I am so excited to announce that, upon final approval by Council, we will soon be instituting an on demand transit program for seniors, hopefully by next month,” said Lerner. “The concept for this on-demand program will be for residents 55 and older, and will provide door to door service, bringing residents to the Community center Gardens and Library for programs and events, as well as to local shopping areas.”
She also talked about the village’s formal Seniors program, which did not exist in 2008, and a Senior Activities Coordinator. Also important were the village’s efforts to become a Green city with changes to the building code and achieving resiliency to address climate change impacts. Improvements to Public Safety were next, and upcoming improvements to the public schools in Pinecrest. The Strategic Plan was discussed, with ways to increase the village’s revenue stream with more reliance on commercial than residential property tax.
“So, as I deliver this, my last State of the village address, I look forward to continuing, with your Council, the improvements we will focus on over this next year, and hope that the direction we have set will be one that continues on into the future. Thanks to our wonderful staff in Building and zoning, Planning code enforcement, Public works, Police, Parks, Pinecrest Gardens and the Managers Office, for their commitment to excellence, thanks to our community volunteers and leaders who keep their eyes on the needs and the future of the village, and to our current and former council members who have helped make this first 20 years one where we can all be proud to say we live in Pinecrest, the small town with the big reputation!” Mayor Lerner also thanked the generous sponsor of the State of the Village address – Baptist Health South.