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Message From The Mayor
February 2016Have you read the article in this newsletter about Palm Coast being named the 39th Most Livable City in the US? Since there are almost 19,500 cities in the United States, I'd say this is a rather notable achievement for a small city.
Naturally, if we're to keep moving up the ranks from 39th, your elected officials are challenged to continue to offer a rich community experience while, at the same time, meeting the needs of new residents. Since there's no doubt that Palm Coast will continue to grow, we want to be able to offer the same lifestyle vibrant in environmental sensitivity, leisure opportunities and economic expansion that our original City leaders envisioned many years ago.
Palm Coast is different from many other places to live - by choice. Early Palm Coasters chose to move here, due in part to our love of nature, our green spaces, trees, parks, bike paths and environmental standards. With the upcoming elections in 2016, residents will have an opportunity to either continue along the path of our founding fathers or to make a change. It is essential that voters understand what the issues are so they can choose wisely. I will be working hard this year to continue to articulate this vision for our community.
One of the issues facing Palm Coast is the need to keep up with increased demand for City services that comes with growth. We don't want to see the economic recovery hampered by a lack of services because necessary capital projects are not funded or City staff is not available to process important applications. While the improving economy will make funding somewhat less challenging than in the past, City Council will need to ensure that adequate resources are available to meet the needs and expectations of our growing community. At the same time, we need to understand that "growth for growth's sake" by itself is NOT the path we want to follow.
We must see to it that our current infrastructure projects - the Old Kings Rd and Palm Harbor Pkwy extension/bypasses - are completed on time so that the opening of the I-95 interchange at Matanzas Woods Pkwy will not subject nearby residents and high school students and staff to excessive traffic. I look forward to continued cooperation between the City and County to complete these projects - on time and on budget.
With the economic recovery in full swing, there's no doubt that along with residential growth, our business community will continue to invest in Palm Coast. This year, the City will continue our trend to prepare for the future. Important projects such as Wastewater Treatment Plant #2 will begin to provide capacity for future growth. Upgrading our first Community Center and Holland Park facilities will finally get the attention they truly deserve.