The Chillicothe mayor wants to focus on building solid relationships, restoring credibility, and foundation building.
In his State of the City Address, Tuesday, Chillicothe Mayor Jack Everson outlined three areas of improvement he looks to focus on to best position the city for prosperity, and it starts with building solid relationships.
"There's strength in numbers, and together we're better; improving our credibility by taking care of some things that have languished over the years...; the last thing is foundation building, and that's planning for the future," he said.
Everson discussed the city's financial challenges in 2012, which were influenced by the reduction of the state-sponsored Local Government Fund, elimination of the Estate Tax Income, and declining property tax income to the city.
And while the State's Auditor's Office placed Chillicothe in a state of "fiscal caution," last October, Everson noted there have been actions taken to get the city's budget back on track. One example he provided was the successful negotiations of all three union contracts at the beginning of the year. He said in the past, the negotiations would usually stall and end up in arbitration.
Also in 2012, Chillicothe's commercial building construction projects were valued at $14.6 million, which the mayor said is the strongest it's been in 7 years: "We're looking at duplicating that for 2013, so I think we're in good position, especially considering this economy."
This year, Mayor Everson would like to place more emphasis on fighting the local crime and drug problem.
"That is weighing heavily on my mind, and we're looking at a multifaceted approach to deal with the issue because it's not all just law enforcement and crime fighting," said Everson, "There's sickness involved, too."
He concluded stating the city needs to do the hard work that might not have immediate payback but will build a solid foundation for growth and prosperity.
"The best way to predict the future is to create it," he said, "We will be bold as we develop a new vision for Chillicothe."