At recent meetings on the West Bluff, I realized the great change in conversation as various developments are announced and indeed go forward.
On the Bradley University anchor side of the West Bluff, we have a 100 million dollar school project and investment which will forever change us. The new Business/ Engineering Convergence Center is a huge legacy project for one of our top community employers. Bradley’s academic atmosphere adds so much to the West Bluff, and the students and faculty contribute much to our local community. Town/ Gown Relations have never been better.
At the Hale Memorial Church, much work is occurring under the Yaku Cultural Center banner. This development is potentially transformative and is near our great hospital and medical school anchors.
We are also blessed with a great Renaissance Park Community Association with its members’ great civic engagement on West Main. Add to this mix a potential Brownstone Townhome Development across the street from the thriving Buddhist Temple, and one begins to see another sign of great and continued prosperity for our neighborhoods.
Millions of dollars have already been spent repairing the West Bluff infrastructure, with even more work coming with the soon to be rebuilt Douglas A. MacArthur Bridge.
As Thanksgiving approaches, we have much to give thanks for, as we continue to work on the preparation of our 2018 and 2019 biennial budget. This will be my 17th budget process as your City Councilman. I am reminded of the late Councilman Gary Sandberg’s admonition: a community’s budget is oftentimes the embodiment of a community’s values— or at least the values of those sitting around The Horseshoe at that time.
I can assure all of you that, wherever I go, I am hearing that we must continue the rebuild of the heart of our City and dare not reverse course. Property values are rising once again and energy is returning to the heart of our City. It is the place where our young people and
Creative Class want to live. I will not acquiesce in ruinous cuts which will detract from the resurgence in our neighborhoods. We have fought too long and too hard to turn back. We will cut unnecessary spending and look for a revenue source that will be helpful to all of us. We cannot spend or tax our way out of the current 7.9 million dollar deficit. We must work with scalpel like precision to forge a new biennial budget.
I hope to see all of you soon. Thank you, Councilors Jensen and Ruckriegel, for helping me deliver for District Two— a district second to none!