Looking Back and Moving Forward

By Mayor Eric H. Jones, Jr….
As summer ends and fall begins many changes will soon be taking place. There will be things that require much adjustment. During the week of August 10-14 we attended the Annual Conference of the Legislative Policy Committee Meetings sponsored by the Florida League of Cities. These meetings are designed to review and make suggestions to the Legislature on various items that will be discussed in their next session. Some of the changes are new and frightening while others are encouraging.

One of the key bills that passed pertains to Affordable Housing with regard to the State Housing Trust Fund. This is HB639 which removes the $234 million dollar cap on documentary stamp revenues to be deposited into the State Housing Trust Fund. Two other key bills dealt with ethics and Elections (SB 330 and HB1355). Standing on the brink of something new is scary – there is uncertainty and fear.

Have you ever been faced with something new and been scared? I can remember when I was thinking about becoming mayor and how many fears arose. It seemed like such an enormous task. I didn’t know anything about politics and it was a bit daunting. I was uncertain and a bit fearful. Maybe you have faced a similar situation – standing on the brink of a major change – watching a new day as it is dawning. Maybe it was a job change or a move or you were about to get married – that is scary isn’t it!!! Whatever your experience, whenever you stand on the brink of something new, there is excitement and adrenaline as well as uncertainty and fear. We look ahead into the unknown; we look back into the known. We can look back and see how we were provided for in the past – over the years. Over the last 6 years. We stand now on the precipice of a new fiscal year and our city is preparing for more great things. I must admit that standing on the edge is always scary.

When we try to peer into the future, it is UNKNOWN. We wish we had a crystal ball, but I think sometimes that would just scare us more. Looking forward is SCARY – far more frightening than looking back. When we look back we see our history – where we have come from – it is KNOWN AND SAFE. The past is comfortable. For the past six years we have met every challenge. Although some challenges weren’t pleasant we became familiar with the struggle and provided a SAFE PLACE in the storm for our City. We were provided for and blessed in incredible ways. I am convinced that there is a great future planned for us. To grasp this future we need to do several things – support the efforts of our City, trust the leadership, and have a vested interest in our progress.

There is far more in store for us than our present status reveals. Therefore get ready to go to new heights. But we must stand up against every challenge. Now we might not have all that we need right at the moment, but I firmly believe that there is more in store for us than what we have seen in the past six years, good as it has been. As a matter of fact there is more in store for us than what we have seen in the past 12 months, exciting as it has been. Wouldn’t it be tremendous to see our city become the city of our dreams? We’ve got a lot more hills to climb before that happens. What I know is that this overwhelming task is no more daunting than what we have faced in the past. We were charged with the task of making our city viable. We were facing some fairly big obstacles and some fairly strong opposition, but we did several things that helped us. We stopped looking back and reminiscing about our past and started moving forward to make our City what we desired.

I am still waiting to see more wonderful things happen. I firmly believe we are standing at the edge of a new era in West Park and we are predestined to succeed. We have to be willing to do it. Let’s look back and celebrate the past, but let’s prepare to move into the future and take ground. I hope you will commit to this journey with us.



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