NEW CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

From the Desk of Mayor Eric H. Jones, Jr.

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As your elected officials we have high hopes for 2018. Based on the plans for this year “Optimism” would be a good theme. As your Mayor, I hope that 2018 will be the year that we are able to put the financial uncertainty of the past behind, and move forward with a sense of confidence in the city’s financial position. Our priorities haven’t changed much since the day I took office. We must continuously strengthen our financial position. As always, there will be some challenges. Preliminary numbers suggest that revenue was slightly better in 2017. Hurricane Irma was a small factor as the year closed but we will adjust and move forward. The hope is to be able to strengthen a few areas of concern, although, overall, we did quite well, thanks to the Commission, staff, and volunteers.

In early January the City Commission members plan to go to Tallahassee and lobby for assistance on certain developmental plans that will aid in some of our infrastructure projects. In the past our City Manager has prepared well with plans in place and shovel-ready projects so that we can be prepared if funding opportunities arise. Despite the challenges, as in the past, I feel good about the coming year. We have some good people working for the City and many great volunteers. As your elected officials, we are dedicated to working together and doing what it takes to get things moving in the right direction. We want to remain positive and optimistic about the New Year as we continue to move onward and upward and not take steps back. We want to keep making progress. There are a few projects in the works on our streets and the building of new homes as evidence of our growth.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve as mayor of West Park since 2005. I am proud to continue working alongside all our City Commission — and I am proud to work alongside our City Manager and his staff as they help us to continue along the path to a positive future every single day. I am confident that we all will remain committed to working together to represent our City with honor every day. As the old year dies and we face the New Year all our yesterdays are summarized in our now, and all the tomorrows are, ours to shape and this year’s end is neither an end, nor a beginning, but a going-on with all the wisdom and experience that last year instilled in us.

On that note, I close with a humorous poem I hope you enjoy:

Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house, nothing would fit me, not even a blouse. The cookies I’d nibbled, the fudge I did taste, all the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number! When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber). I remembered the marvelous meals I’d prepared, the gravies and sauces and beef nicely rare. The pies and the cakes, the bread and the cheese, and the way I never said, “No thank you please.”

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished, ‘till all the additional ounces have vanished. I won’t have a cookie, not even a lick, I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick. I won’t have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie, I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore — But isn’t that what January is for? Unable to giggle, no longer a riot. Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

GOD BLESS YOU ALL AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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