“The State of our city is strong, and I believe it is growing stronger everyday.”
Mayor David Martin gave his first State of the City Address Tuesday at the Stamford Marriott, since taking office December 1.
“Our city is one that we all take pride in, we should take pride in, and one that I believe is on a path for continued success in the years to come.”
Martin highlighted many of the city’s successes thus far, such as being recognized as the safest city in New England.
“Here is the actual crime rate that’s occurred in Stamford over the past 10 years or more, and as you can see we had a steady decline and it continues to decline with the preliminary numbers reported for 2013.”
The Mayor also defended his proposal for a 4.9% tax increase in the city’s budget.
“Inside that tax increase is the greatest commitment to filling that unfunded liability; if you will, paying down some old credit cards, that has ever been done in this city before.”
Martin’s budget makes room for the addition of new city positions to improve services and ultimately save money. This includes a time and attendance manager, transportation planner, land use inspector, and social services coordinator.
“The focus has always been entirely around what can we do this year to cut the budget and in the process we have basically undermined our ability to plan and manage for the future, and the core structural costs continue to rise.”
Martin continued by praising the success of Stamford’s Public Schools.
“87% of our students are going on to pursue higher education, that is much higher than the state average, and in 2013 they went to schools such as Yale, MIT, Duke.”
The Mayor says Stamford’s economy is thriving as well.
“The local economy is climbing out of the recession, and doing so at a faster rate than other cities in Connecticut. Since the recession, Stamford has had an unemployment rate that is better than Connecticut and better than the National average.”
And Martin says Stamford continues to benefit from the growth and addition of businesses in the city both big and small.
“We continue to be the largest financial district in the New York metro area outside of New York City, home to 4 Fortune 500 companies and 9 Fortune 1,000 companies.”
The Mayor sited the ongoing expansion of Chelsea Piers, NBC Sports, Stamford Hospital, and new housing developments throughout the city, as further indicators of continued growth.
“And of course, everyone who comes to Stamford makes note of the Harbor Point developments; 1800 units are now open or under construction.”
Mayor Martin says he will work hard to ensure that Stamford continues to thrive and keep open lines of communication for the citizens who make it the city it is.
“The reality is, it isn’t the mayor that makes this a great city and a great future, it’s the people that are sitting here in this room today.”