First I want to thank the citizens of London for giving me the opportunity to serve as mayor of the city of London for six consecutive terms of office. It has been a roller coaster ride as we have been through good times and recessions. We are slowly coming out of the last downturn.
When I entered the mayor’s office in January of 1992 our carryover from 1991 was $817,090. As I leave at the end of 2015 it looks as if we will crossover the year with a balance in the neighborhood of $2 million carryover. I consider this an accomplishment to have improved our balance that amount all the while doing many improvements to the city. We were also fortunate throughout this time to receive at least 10 Community Housing Impact and Preservation (CHIP) grants, 20 formula grants, three downtown revitalization grants and many other smaller grants totaling in the millions of dollars.
During one of my State of the City addresses, I indicated the need for a connector from U.S. Route 42 (Lafayette Street) over to State Route 38 (Elm Street). I was told by some individuals that the project couldn’t be done. Well things did come together and the project was completed. Following the opening of the road I was asked when could the road be extended over to State Route 56 (North Main Street). We haven’t gotten to that project yet but it is something the new administration can work on completing it. The right-of-way has been secured and once funding is appropriated the road can be completed.
Things are looking up with the end of the latest recession and there seems to be renewed interest in the city. There is plenty of available land and with our previous expansion of the wastewater plant and the current expansion of the water facilities London is prepared for additional growth.
I want to take this time to say thank you to all of the past and present employees of the city and all of the persons who have served on various boards and commissions throughout the years. With everyone’s help and assistance London has become a better place to live, work and play. It is the people in the community which makes a community what it s and London is fortunate to have excellent citizens in our community.
One of the most difficult jobs in local government is that of safety-service director and through the years Gary Peters, Elmer Olsen and Steve Hume have done a fine job of serving the city in that capacity. Between dealing with personnel and citizens on a daily basis and all of the other complexities of the job they have done an excellent job.
Over the years the Olde Fashioned Christmas has been an enjoyable time for citizens to come downtown and renew old friendships and make new ones. Many times on this evening I have had the pleasure of talking with newcomers to the city that weren’t aware of all of the various businesses we have in London. That is a large part of what the evening is about supporting the community and renewing old friendships and developing new ones. It is an enjoyable time of the year and everyone is welcome to come downtown and partake in the festivities.
May everyone have a Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year.
I want to close by saying it has been an enjoyable and interesting last 24 years as mayor of the city of London. As we go into 2016 may London continue to grow and prosper.
I wish the new administration well in the coming years and I am anxious to see the improvements that will be coming in the future.
David Eades is the mayor of London. His sixth, and final, four-year term expires Dec. 31, 2015.