As a City we begin the new fiscal year with a balanced budget once again. As it was with many cities we went through a challenging budget season but again we overcame the difficulty and we are set for the coming fiscal year. The mileage rate remains the same with a slight increase in ad-valorem because of increased property values. Please keep in mind that this was attributed to positive growth in our city and it is not something negative. Anything that does not grow eventually dies. For there to be growth there must be change and change is often frightening because of the unknown. Life has only two options, stay the way you are or plan for a better future.
There will always be challenges in the path of progress, talk to successful people and you’ll find one key trait in common: all of them have a unique mentality that allows them to handle challenges differently. Rather than seeing problems as burdensome forces of opposition, they see problems as opportunities, opportunities to learn, grow, improve, or adjust in a way that leaves them better off than before the problem existed. This simple mentality has many benefits. First, it reduces the burden of stress that usually accompanies any new problem, because the problem is viewed in a positive light, it’s less intimidating. Second, it contextualizes the problem. Because the mind immediately starts thinking about the effects and potential responses to the problem, it can be broken down and analyzed easier. Third, it encourages growth–this mentality forces you to adapt and improve on a constantly recurring basis. Finally, it’s self-perpetuating. Every problem you view or solve this way makes future problems easier to handle, forming a positive cycle of reinforcement.
There are some narratives that are spreading throughout the city that are totally unfounded and untrue. I refuse to entertain them because I will not validate the rhetoric. Many statements are taken out of context and twisted to fit the hyperbolic story line.
I encourage those affected by these narratives to speak to me personally and I will give you the facts. However, I will not participate in an open fiasco centered around personal attacks. As Mayor, I am a part of a team and have no individual powers to effect change. The narratives seem to suggest that I deceived, implemented, and was the driving force that brought our city into existence, nothing can be further from the truth. I moved back into the area in 2002 and had no knowledge of plans to form a city. I eventually heard about it and attended a couple of citizen meetings with no input on the progress or the program. I encourage you to speak to those that were a part of the planning team and get the facts, because the story line that’s being promoted has no substantiated truth.
Let us use our energy by being proactive and prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. The measure of anything great is how challenges are met and overcome not by complaining about the modification and condemning the improvement. If we all place our time and energy in progressing, we don’t need to be concerned about retrogressing. That being said, the month of November means that we will soon be inundated with holiday season urgencies. By the time this newspaper is distributed Halloween will be over and we now prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Although we should remember the significance of all our holidays, I believe that Thanksgiving is the holiday which should be used for a time of quiet reflection. We would all do well to pause and remember the freedom which we oftentimes take for granted. I hope that you will gather with your family and friends and take a moment to reflect, remember, and give thanks. Let us take a moment during this Thanksgiving holiday season to reflect on our lives and on our blessings. We have endured hardships this past year. Our economy has not been as vibrant as in years past. Many have family members who are serving our country in foreign lands. Many of us have lost loved ones, or have faced other personal crises. And yet, we are blessed to live in a country where we can learn from, and appreciate, the differences which make us unique. We are free to vote or not vote. We have the choice of education for our children. We have some of the finest medical technology in the world available to us. In America, we have the freedom to travel as we wish, and we have the freedom to worship as we see fit.
Additionally, we are privileged to live in West Park, Florida. We are fortunate to have City employees who are committed to providing the best service possible to our citizens. We are thankful for those groups that come together annually for the Community Thanksgiving feast and the Christmas toy give-away and the Christmas tree lighting ceremony. We have many blessings, large and small. The list is endless. Only when we begin to take stock, do we realize just how blessed we truly are.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKKAH AND BEST WISHES FOR THE YEAR AHEAD!
GOD BLESS THE CITY OF WEST PARK AND
GOD BLESS AMERICA.