2012 demonstrated through its challenges and opportunities that we live and work in a truly warm and caring community. It is hard to believe another year is just beginning. I am excited for our new year. The economy is slowly beginning to thaw; projects are beginning, and more will follow. Our Commission is committed to working so that West Park is ready to reap the benefits from an improving economy. We have developed a vision and mission for our city from which we will build strategies to guide us to a successful future. With 2013 upon us, many of us will make the typical resolutions – dropping a few pounds, giving up our vices and striving to accomplish new things. That is well and good but instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I prefer to set realistic goals more within reach. Like many, my personal goals for the coming year are to remain healthy, happy, and surrounded by family and friends. As Mayor, I want our Commission and staff to continue to forge our city ahead for the betterment of our citizens. That means ensuring that we maintain healthy reserves for rainy days that our essential city services never falter which we continue to be one of the safest cities in the county, and that we expand our cultural, educational, and recreational programs for our community. Even though our city has weathered this economic storm much better than many others, we will continue to work to attract new business and create new jobs. In the coming year we will also continue to promote economic development and attract and retain businesses in the community. Our City continues to work with businesses to identify available retail and commercial office space; offer assistance in starting new businesses; and provide vital resources to existing businesses. On another note, providing facilities and enhancing the services to our youth will also continue to be a goal in 2013. We will continue to enhance the programs and improvements to Mctyre and Mary Saunders Park to benefit the sports groups and individuals who use the parks. For the past several years, we have used several proactive communication tactics – including our City News Paper – to educate and inform the community, and this year, we will seek to expand on those to reach a broader segment of the community. Indeed, in the coming year, our goal is to improve our quality of life even more through projects, programs, and services. Another year has passed, 2012 has gone into the history books, and it is hard to believe that 2013 has arrived. As I look back at the past year, it is very important to thank my fellow commission members, committee members, and the town staff for the countless hours they contributed toward making West Park a better place to live and enjoy. Thank you for another outstanding year. To all of our residents who volunteered and put in hundreds of hours on our commissions, committees, and other organizations in the city: Thank you! We could not accomplish all that we did and be the city we are, without your efforts. I know 2012 was a busy year for many of you with numerous hear- ings and meetings, but you have made the city better. And to all the residents who came forward to talk with all of us on various issues, one-on-one and at our public meetings: Thank you for all of your input. We represent you and need your thoughts and ideas to serve better. Please consider investing some of your time to your city. Your help is appreciated with any of our community and government activities. Call anyone on the Commission and see how you can help.
I close by saying that a better tomorrow begins with our perspective at its beginning. It comes in at midnight very clean. It is perfect when it arrives, and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we have learned something from yesterday. If we invest wisely in our city today we will reap great benefits tomorrow. I read a story of a little girl who had a nice little piggy bank. Her father wanted to teach her about saving, so he talked to her about putting her money into a savings account at their bank. He very carefully explained to her that when she put money into her account, the bank would pay her interest on her money and that her money would grow that way. The big day came. They went to the bank. She gave her piggy bank to the woman opening her account. Then she just stood there and stared at the woman. “Is there something else I can do for you?” the woman asked. The little girl answered, “No, I’m just waiting on my interest!” The girl did not understand that there was a delay between sowing her money in that account and reaping the harvest of her interest. That is the way it is in life. Since that is the case, there are a couple of things to understand as we continue to grow as a City:
1. The things happening in our city today are the results of what was sown in the past. Today we are reaping the harvest of what was sown a week ago, a month ago, a year ago, seven years ago.
2. What will happen in our future will be determined by what we sow today. If we are to better our future in the coming year we need to sow what we hope to reap.
We seek your patience and understanding as your commission and staff sows the seeds of the City’s future.
I look forward to the challenges and opportunities our city will face in 2013, and I am grateful beyond words for the opportunity to serve as your Mayor – once again.