Mayor Brown Delivers Message
Rome, NY (WIBX) - After handing out several awards recognizing the city of Rome's 2011 most honored, including Police Officer Donald Moore and departed community leader Buol Hinman, Mayor James Brown announced to the crowd of city workers, business owners and supporters that the city of Rome is well positioned; poised to accept new challanges by staying "ahead of the curve".
Brown, a retired supermarket manager of nearly 20 stores, went on to say during his 2011 State of the City Address, held Tuesday night at The Griffiss Institute, that since elected, "We have done our part, despite soaring mandated costs, stabilizing taxes and holding spending in check. Our record shows our commitment: 5 years of zero tax increases, 2 years of modest increases of less than 2% and one modest tax decrease".
The 45 minute speech outlined the positive steps he and his administration have taken, going on to say "We have demonstrated that fiscal responsibility and personal accountability can lead not only to excellence in our operations but also provide real benefits and savings to our taxpayers."
Sounding similar to a re-election campaign kick-off announcement, Brown seemed pleased with his administration's accomplishments. "I saw a few high-fives and thumbs-up, your reaction?", I asked, during our post-speech dialogue. "We want to be judged on results and we have a proven track record of results", he said insistently. "You heard the numbers, I'm in my 8th year and property taxes in 8 years have gone up less than 2%. Assessed value (real property value) has gone up close to 100 million dollars. Blight. Decay, we've hit all the neighborhoods. We have a revitalization, a consistent program on all corridors with facade programs, helping businesses get going", he added.
Mayor Brown wrapped up his 2011 address by telling the audience that during the next year and beyond, it is crucial that his administration reduce the tax burden on residents and businesses. Brown went on to add that "meaningful consolidations" with other agencies and privatization of city services would be the ways in which that goal will be achieved. Afterwards, stating "I'll give you the bottom line on the whole thing, if the results weren't there, you wouldn't see Jim Brown in office; because I would fire myself".
This was Mayor Brown's 8th State of the City Address.