Another year has passed. 2018 has gone into the history books and it is hard to believe that 2019 has arrived. As I look back at the past year, it’s very important to thank my fellow commission members and the City staff for the countless hours they con¬tributed 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 at our commission meetings, committees and events in the City: Thank you! We couldn’t accomplish all that we did, and be the city we are, without your efforts. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the past while also looking boldly ahead to the future with hope and optimism.
There is no doubt that the past few years of economic struggles have presented all of us – in every family, in every neighborhood – with unprecedented challenges and difficult decisions. While the challenges of previous years will likely continue into 2018, I am proud of where West Park is today. We have not been content to tread water or sit idle. Instead, we have continued to develop our economy, strengthen our neighborhoods and create new opportunities for residents. Wisely we have remained steadfast in our commitment to transforming West Park into one of the most vibrant, innovative and sustainable cities in Broward county.
Although fourteen years have passed since the first time I swore to justly, impartially and faithfully perform the duties as your community servant, my reverence for that oath is no less today than it was that first day; those words still humble and inspire me. I pledge to you that I will continue to serve with integrity and courage to do what is right.
TODAY IS A DAY OF PROMISE! Our challenge is to seize that promise by rededicating ourselves to the common good and to a shared vision for our community’s future. That future must be one in which West Park remains affordable to live and work.
The City Commission and I must do our part in meeting the challenge of tax affordability in a fiscally responsible manner. But we know the challenge of maintaining our City’s fiscal health will be even greater in 2019. We must avoid the tendency to compartmentalize financial decisions to discrete times. The reality is that most of the matters we vote on throughout the year have a financial impact, which means we must be cognizant of the financial cost of every action.
We must generate new tax revenue through redevelopment. We must build on our recent successes and continue growing our tax ratable base. But residents must also understand there is a need for government to provide services that are important to the quality of life, such as well-run recreational programs, senior transportation services, and to undertake public improvements. The Commission and I will continue to improve our infrastructure such as beautification projects. It means that we will continue improvements to our parks and recreational areas, with innovative maneuvers. It also means that we will continue to invest in public safety with our police department. During all this we must realize our community’s future should also be one that is environmentally sustainable.
That is my vision. Some may say this vision is too ambitious. I disagree. It was Robert Kennedy who said, “The future does not belong to those who are content with today, apathetic toward common problems and their fellow man alike, timid and fearful in the face of bold projects and new ideas. Rather the future will belong to those who can blend passion, reason and courage in a personal commitment to the ideals of American society.”
To my fellow Commissioners and City staff, to the many citizens who volunteer their time to serve on the boards that local government depends on, and to all our residents, I ask you to blend passion, reason and courage to better West Park. I ask you to join me in committing ourselves fully to the common good and our shared vision, and to believe in a brighter future for our community. Believe in this City and its residents. Believe in the vitality of our neighborhoods, our businesses, our schools and houses of worship. Believe in the strength of our families, our diversity, our young people and our senior citizens. Believe that when West Park works together, we can overcome the challenges we face. Join me in believing that our City’s future is bright and that the best is yet to come.
As we head into the New Year, I am optimistic. May the New Year be healthy, happy and prosperous for our residents!
May God bless West Park!
Remember to contact me at City Hall with your ideas, suggestions or concerns. I represent you and appreciate your input into the continued success of our beloved city. I can be reached at (954) 329-8990 or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.