KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Wyandotte County faces what may be the economic challenge of a lifetime, said Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Joe Reardon during his annual State of the Government Address.
But Reardon says the Unified Government is fully prepared to confront and overcome those challenges and with the help and support of citizens, the community will continue to be successful.
“The state of the community is one of determination to be a great place to live, work and raise our families,” Reardon told the crowd of more than 300 people gathered at the Reardon Convention Center.
“We face significant challenges, but I remain an optimist about the future Wyandotte County,” Reardon said. “That means looking at challenges as opportunities.”
This is Reardon’s fourth State of the Government Address since being elected Mayor/CEO of the Unified Government in 2005.
Reardon declared that even in times of economic crisis the Unified Government must continue to move forward with the vision of success the citizens of Wyandotte County have written for themselves.
“The story of Wyandotte County is one of a community of people who rise to the occasion in difficult times, a community that sets its own course and a community which writes its own story of success,” Reardon said.
Reardon said the difficult budget decisions facing the Unified Government are also affecting citizens.
“It won’t be easy, but we must keep in mind that everyone in the city and families in every neighborhood are suffering and have to make the same hard decisions about their budgets. We have to tighten our belt and find cost cutting ways to get the job done. We owe that to every taxpayer in our County.”
While warning the Unified Government faces serious budget problems, Reardon stressed the need to focus on the basics, such as continuing to provide high quality public safety to citizens; better integrating services with the needs of neighborhoods; and finding new opportunities to improve and repair infrastructure in all corners of the city.
Reardon predicted the formula for long term success will be job creation and economic empowerment in all parts of the city.
“We know that the key to our long term success is to provide more employment opportunities in our city, to improve educational opportunities for our youth, and to foster a dynamic that leads to new businesses, large and small, opening here. And again it will take us collectively coming together to find those opportunities and clear the obstacles to success.”
As Reardon closed the address, he warned that there will be critics and negative voices who will try to use the economic crisis and challenges as wedges to divide and conquer the community. He urged citizens to “not fall victim to those negative comments and self-promoting critics.”
“The key to our future success is to unify as a community, to foster a climate of possibilities and hope, and to execute a vision that collectively moves the entire county forward, “ Reardon declared.
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