2012 brought four newly-elected members to the City of Lawrence Council. Two were elected as At-Large candidates, which means they represent the entire City of Lawrence. I was one of those newly-elected At-Large candidates and as a first time candidate, it has been a great experience and honor to serve on your city council.
The year started off with a great deal of activity. A number of new initiatives were brought before the Finance, Economic Development, Code, and Parks & Recreation Committees. The Economic Development Committee passed an ordinance for a new construction project at the Westminster Senior Living facility. This project not only enhances the existing services of their facility, but brings with it new jobs to our community.
Another sign that the City of Lawrence continues to grow is the recent ground breaking of a new training facility. While preserving the heritage of Fort Benjamin Harrison, we continue to see growth of a new facility for the Army, Marine,and Navy Reserves.
The Code Committee has responsibility to review and put forth to the full council voting on matters relating to the City’s overall code ordinances. The City’s code department has a staff of 35 who work to ensure the City’s codes are followed to provide for the safety of our citizens, make sure proper building practices are followed, and protect our natural resources. Public Works has the responsibility for city streets, sanitation building codes and permits. The most recent ordinance passed by the full council was the adoption of a city-wide smoking ban that mirrors the ordinance recently passed by the City of Indianapolis.
Over the next few months, the City’s administration will be working with the Finance Committee in delivering the 2013 budget to the full council for vote. The tough economy throughout the country is not lost on the City of Lawrence. As a result, 2013 will be met with many of the same challenges with which citizens, cities, and towns across the nation are dealing. However, this council will work hard to ensure that residents’ tax dollars are utilized to their fullest.
This year’s Independence Day parade was especially unique. Despite the excessive heat, many gathered to watch Mr. Averitte Corley, a Grand Marshal of the Lawrence Fourth of July Parade, be presented with a Congressional Gold Medal on July 4th.
The Common Council meets on the first Monday of every month at 6:30 at the Government Center.