Mayor’s Memos

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Dec 07

Looking forward to another four years.

Posted on December 7, 2020 at 9:35 AM by Penny Johnston

Mayor’s Inaugural Address – November 16, 2020

Since November 2016, we have worked to keep our property tax rate down while ensuring the needs of the City are met. Additional construction has helped us to accomplish that.

Leveraging City and CRA funds together with external grants and funding sources has allowed the City to accomplish the following in the last four years: 

  • Improvements to the intersection at 17th St. and 14th Ave. to alleviate traffic issues to   Palmetto High School.
  • Phase 1 Complete Streets at Riverside Drive
  • Phase 1 Renovation of Sutton Park
  • Developed marketable CRA incentives
    • One by one we have seen the effectiveness of the new incentives with new or revitalized businesses: 
      • ItWorks!
      • Dunkin’ Donuts
      • Palmetto Animal Clinic
      • O’Reilly’s
      • 7-Eleven Store
      • Revamping of the City’s CRA Plan to close gaps, eliminate inconsistencies and expand the visibility and effectiveness of the CRA.
        • Link incentives to businesses needed in the city.
        • New Sidewalks on 23rd Street
        • Safety improvements on 10th Street at 5th and 2nd Avenues.
        • MCAT Mural  for Palmetto identity
        • Through the efforts of Planning and Development Department, our FEMA insurance rates were reduced by 15% in 2019.
        • Senior Affordable Housing
        • Approval for affordable housing (by Holy Cross Church)

Goals for the next four years:

  • Continued efforts towards crime prevention/reduction/community outreach
  • Complete Streets Planning and coordinating with FDOT for the 10th Avenue Corridor for 2022-23 to 17th Street.
  • Phase II Renovation of Sutton Park
    • Turning the stage around      
    • Playground Equipment
    • Continued enhancements to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park
      • Restrooms under construction now
      • 17th Street Park Revitalization
      • ASR Aquifer Recovery System was started to improve our storage and thus availability of reuse water through the assistance of SWFWMD – now in operation
      • Equalization Basin – under final inspections- 2 million gallons of waste water capacity– Rate Study Implementation – reduce risk of spills.
      • Continued revitalization of infrastructure to prevent future spills
      • Seahorse Facility / Gateway Improvements/new gateway – Seahorse Sculpture
      • ½ cent sales tax
        • Hydrant Park Renovation
        • Resurfacing Roads
        • New Police Department Breaking ground in early 2021
        • Ground breaking on the Lincoln Park Pool November 20, 2020
        • Traffic Signalization at Canal Road and 301
        • New safety feature at 23rd Street and 41 roundabout
        • Finish the renovation of the Woman’s Club
        • Connor Park, to purify water runoff draining over 70 square acres of soil before entering the river.
        • We need to re-focus on making data driven decisions regarding redevelopment and revitalization.
        • A real priority for all of us that are able to step up and help those who are so impacted by COVID-19. There are many food drives coming up and ways to help distribute food etc. 

My Appreciation:

  • First thank you to our Commissioners.
  • Also, my appreciation to our Department Heads and attorneys who put up with me every Wednesday morning and as you know I only make a few unreasonable requests. J 
  • Tight budgets cause reductions in the number of employees.  Our employees have worked harder to provide the needs of the community.  I appreciate each and every one of our employees.  You are the ones that make it happen.
  • And thank you to our community that has been cooperative working through the pains/inconveniences that come with the gains and improvements that we have been making.
  • Most important and of course closest to my heart, my family, many of whom are here this evening.  Thank you for supporting me and putting up with me.  I could not do what I do without you all. Sending hugs to all my volunteers.

In Closing:

As always, I would ask you all to shop local and support our community businesses. I want to thank the residents and businesses of Palmetto for supporting our efforts and initiatives and for having the confidence in me to allow me to serve as your Mayor for another four year