Better Than Before
June 16, 2010 2:55 PM
I delivered my annual State of the City speech at the Downtown Rotary lunch this afternoon.
I said that the state of our city is good… considering. Considering that the national unemployment rate flirts with 10%, our rate of 5.2% is much better, but still almost twice what it is in normal times. Considering that the average reduction in home values nationwide was 6.5%, our loss of 1.8% looks pretty good, but still it's the first reduction in overall values in Madison in recent memory.
So, while there's a lot of good news, it's still not good enough. Too many people don't have jobs. Too much value is still being lost. That's why the focus of my speech was the economy. I outlined several things we need to do to make sure that we come out of this recession not just the same, but better, stronger and more resilient than we were before.
We need to get the Central Library and the Edgewater Hotel built now that they've been approved. We need to give our new Regional Transit Authority the resources it needs to provide more workforce mobility. We should improve our development approval processes so that they are business-like, clear and expeditious. We need to move forward with the development of job generators like the BioAg Gateway and the Capital Gateway corridor. We should leverage the new Monona Terrace high speed rail station into a complete four block redevelopment. And we should resolve the future of Overture so that we can continue to take advantage of the jobs and value it creates.
Now is not the time to pull back, but to invest in our community, to create jobs and increase value for the future.
You can read the whole speech at http://www.cityofmadison.com/news/view.cfm?news_id=2085 .