Mayor Presents State of the City Address

Created on 5/14/2010 10:54:00 AM
Mayor Gregory Kurtz held his 18th State of the City Address at the Independence Civic Center on May 5th with over 300 residents in attendence.  Leadership + Teamwork = Success!

Mayor Kurtz presented his 18th State of the City Address on May 5 at the Independence Civic Center.  A delicious breakfast was served by “top notch” servers…Mayor Kurtz, Finance Director John M. Veres, City Councilpersons, and Directors.

            Mayor Kurtz focused on the importance of good leadership and teamwork to efficiently manage and carry out the business of the City, especially during these challenging economic times.  He also talked about the importance of economic development in order to continue the high level of services which the residents and businesses of the community have become accustomed.

            Members of Mayor Kurtz’s team contributed to the address with information on the achievements and goals of their respective departments.  Here are comments from a few of them.

            Vern Blaze, Finance Coordinator/Systems Analyst, talked about the importance of “Cash Management” as well as showing how the City has achieved balanced budgets in 2009 and 2010 despite a decrease in Municipal Income Tax Revenue during those years.

            John M. Veres, Director of Finance, talked about the decrease in revenue over the last few years, and said that the City is doing more with less.  Productivity has increased and operating expenses have decreased as a result of software upgrades.  Department directors now have easier access to their budget figures on a daily basis and they can make sure they are keeping spending in line with budget.

            Ron White, Community/Economic Development Director, talked about the new restaurants, the Goodrich Landing Gear Division, government agencies, and other businesses coming to Independence bringing new jobs.

            Steve Rega, Interim Fire Chief since the retirement of Chief Pete Nelson, said the Fire Department will order a new squad this year which will be paid for by funds collected from ambulance billings for services to non-residents.  Last year, $325,000 was collected, and an increase is expected this year.

            Dave Snyderburn, Service Director, said the new automated rubbish collection system is proving to be more efficient and safer for workers, and the City would like to purchase another automated truck to pick up recyclable items.  To further the City’s efforts in going “green,” a new solar roof lighting system was installed at the Service Garage by the Technical Services Department.

            Mayor Kurtz said we are surviving these extremely challenging economic times, and we have continued to manage our spending while maintaining our high quality of services.  He thanked everyone for coming, and closed his speech by saying he will continue to implement his visions for a successful future of this City…“Leadership + Teamwork = Success.”

            If you were not able to attend Mayor Kurtz’s State of the City Address, you can view it on the City's Public Service Announcement cable station, Channel 21 for WOW customers and Channel 20 for Time Warner customers.