The event was held at the Eye Opener restaurant at 5th Avenue and Hatcher. It was my first time there and what a treat. The staff was simply amazing as they quickly served the masses with smiles and surprisingly quick service. I had the eye opener, eggs, bacon, fruit and toast… quite tasty and a deal for $6.00 price tag. Many thanks to Hal, the owner, and his staff for a job well done.
Mayor Stanton was the first to speak and gave a quick run down of many exciting things happening in Phoenix including:
- The City Budget is in much better shape and they were able to put back in place some services that had been cut back.
- Some after school programs have been reinstated. Not near as many as the mayor would like but it is progress.
- Many city pools were shut down due to budget constraints and have been reopened giving families a great place to spend time.
- Library hours have been extended after being restricted due to budget cuts.
- Some cuts in the art programs have been reinstated. Mayor Stanton is a big believer in the arts as they are important to a vital city.
- The Phoenix City Council and Planning Department has approved plans for two new high rise projects in downtown Phoenix. I have a call into the city to get more info about these and will post an article on the subject. New commercial projects like this are rare in America today and show a strong investor belief in our City.
- The Educational Outreach Manager position has been reinstated and they are taking applications to fill this job. Education was a major platform issue for Stanton and its refreshing to see a Mayor live up to campaign promises.
- The City is moving forward with expansion of the light rail system. The next leg will take the 19th Avenue route up to Dunlap.
- The City is adding more bicycle lanes, shade structures and pedestrian walkways to make our city more urban friendly.
- More solar energy projects will be initiated on City buildings
- This is a BIG one. The City of Phoenix Purchasing Department is giving emphasis to buying from locally owned businesses. When we buy locally we create jobs and the money stays and flow in our communities… a win-win-win.
Councilman Gates was next up and he spoke to the Sunnyslope community. Of special note was a community garden project in the area and complements on the fine job they are doing with education.
The attendees were invited to ask questions as well. Many great questions were asked and addressed by the Mayor and Councilman Gates. It felt like they were truly listening and I noticed their aids taking copious notes.
All in all it was a great community meeting… they type that makes a difference, offers hope and addresses issues on a more initiate basis.