One Day. In one day, you get to set the course of our city for the next 20 years. You get to decide where you want the City of Port Wentworth to go. As our city is poised to grow over the next decade, we have to take advantage of the opportunities to grow with it. One of the ways we have started taking advantage of these opportunities is by relocating City Hall to where the city’s projected population growth is expected, on the North end of town. While doing this we are not abandoning historical Port Wentworth as we are still providing services for our citizens downtown. Also, we are attracting investment in our city as we have recently opened businesses ranging from Edward Jones Investments to Agave Restaurant (right next to City Hall) and Burger King. We can and need to do more to help our city realize our growth opportunities, and this is why the city has to partner with our Chamber of Commerce and our Development Services to help make our city attractive to investment.
In order to take advantage of the 21st century we have to have to both modernize how our city operates and how our city relates to you. The first step is to update our charter. Such a critical document should not be rushed to meet someone else’s legislative agenda. This is a document that needs to be done right with due care rather than be rushed. A document of such criticality deserves more than a single workshop and a final vote. In the coming year, I project that we will have several workshops of which the public is invited to attend and provide input. As another way to include you in the process of our government, shortly after taking office I recommended that all city meetings (Planning commission and City Council meetings except for executive session) be livestreamed over the internet so you can see for yourself how your government operates. This will be part of the 2nd floor of the New City Hall where the council will meet. We also need to verify that both our vendors and the city are in compliance with the contracts they have agreed to. We cannot continue to have agreements to which one side or the other are not in compliance. Our city has to have the ability to anticipate and address any potential challenges that the 21st Century provides such as potential digital compromise. These challenges are not unique to Port Wentworth, but to cities large and small across this country. Some of these challenges, if not addressed can and have crippled cities. Denying critical city services to you. I have made some recommendations to our City Administrator on how to start addressing those critical issues.
While on this journey I have had the opportunity to meet many people from many walks of life in our city. It has been a wonderful opportunity to engage you in an effort to help make our city better by talking with you when I had the opportunity to do so. Whether it was to address the issues of commercial trucks on Pleasant Drive or taking steps to address speeders in Lake Shore by having a speed bump placed on Sandy Point Way to slow them down and by having signs posted on Lake Shore Boulevard to warn drivers that a special needs child was at play. I also met with business and community leaders to discuss a wide range of issues from the proposed Hendley Road Rezoning to the concerns over the destruction of the wooded area adjacent to the Rice Hope expansion. Reaching out to include you in our government in an effort to help make our city better has been rewarding and I will utilize that feedback I received from you to help our city be more responsive to you.
While I have been your councilman for a relatively short time but in that time, I have accomplished a lot for you and look forward to continuing to work for you, my neighbors, my friends and my city. I humbly thank you both for your support, your validation and confidence in me to continue doing the job for the next four years.