No doubt you’ll be reading many round ups and recaps of this past year.
I’ve been thinking about 2012’s most memorable moments from the perspective of the mayor’s desk and capture the Top 10 here.
The Weather: A snowless winter combined with a sunny summer made for a spectacular weather year. We saved probably $1 million in our annual snow and ice bill, and we enjoyed record beach revenues. We also dodged the worst of the regional storms that came roaring through.
Free Cash: For the third year in a row, we generated strong free cash. The weather factors really helped. We can’t count on weather like that so we won’t budget on it, but when it goes our way, we are given the opportunity to sock money away in the rainy day fund, and invest in much-needed capital improvements around the city and our schools.
Memorial Day: Well, let’s not dwell on this and the protest that took place. But I will say it was memorable.
Rezoning Birdseye property: The City Council approved the rezoning of the area of Commercial Street known as the Birdseye property. This property has long been the subject of redevelopment, and with the zoning in place, and a well-financed business plan, 2012 marks the turning point for this property.
No bids on I-4, C-2: We issued a Request for Proposals for the development of 65 Rogers St., or I-4, C-2, and were sorely disappointed with no responses whatsoever. In the meantime, the parcel continues to be put into productive use as evidenced by the cars that park there, thus relieving parking pressure in downtown.
Chief Smith: We welcomed Fire Chief Eric Smith who moved here with his family from Michigan in order to take the reins of the Gloucester Fire Department. With his leadership, the cooperation of the department, and additional funding from the city, we are starting to see outskirt stations open more frequently.