Imagine living in a city where we have easy access to restaurants, shops, public transportation and work. Traffic congestion is significantly reduced because we created new or expanded existing modes of transportation. We have a mix of housing choices, and the city is more walkable and bike friendly. There are ample parks for our children to play. We have interconnected hiking trails. Our quality of life is better. We’re healthier and happier. We’re a community and a destination.
I believe this can be our reality. I believe this is the vision for our city, and I need you to help me help the City deliver on this strategy and move forward. Strategy is about making choices and taking a few measured risks.
Being too tactical, too cautious and/or too political is not going to win the day. We need to be for something and not against everything. We need foresight and leadership to deliver this vision.
Our strategy must be multifaceted and address economic growth, quality of life, transportation, education, capital investment, and partnership with all community stakeholders. Components will include the kind of sustainable development we want and where, revitalizing our economic base, supporting small and medium-sized businesses, strong schools, programs to revitalize our aging housing and aging office space, diverse housing choices – including affordable and senior options, active support for real regional transportation solutions, and strong leadership to do what we say.
Change makes us uneasy, the sense that we are doing away with the old or giving up everything we know or knew. But without change, there is no future; and I further suggest that, without change, we will be outcompeted by places like Mosaic and Fairfax Corner.
But with change comes opportunity; and if we get “our” formula of economic growth right, we will not only preserve but improve our neighborhoods, we will retain our history and character, we will have the highest quality services and education, we will have a mix of housing choices, we will live in a safe, healthy and secure environment, and we will have the characteristics that will attract the next generation of residents, workers and businesses to the City.
We are a small city, but working on one or two issues alone isn’t enough. I promise that I will continue to be attentive, thorough and diligent, and I will always give careful consideration to all of the issues that we face, both locally and regionally. Effective leadership is the only way we will be able to follow through on these promises. I am that leader and I ask for your vote on Feb. 7.