Dear Gloucester Residents,
As 2016 winds down, I want to pause to express my gratitude to everyone for all that you have done to help move Gloucester forward. Many believe that this year was tougher than other years, but I want to reflect on the positive and look ahead with renewed hope as we enter 2017.
To start the year, our administration and the new City Council were sworn in and we committed ourselves to working together on behalf of all Gloucester residents. We are lucky to have so many dedicated public officials who are willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard on the issues that we face as a community.
I want to thank all City Councilors, city employees, board and commission members, volunteers, organizers, members of the business community and everyone else who has helped to build on the progress that we have made. No one person can achieve as much as we did and will continue to achieve by working together. I couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s efforts.
We have put our fiscal house in order by adopting financial policies that will pay benefits for years to come. For the first time in many years, all City departments lived within their operational budgets allocated by the City Council and we are well on our way to doing that for a second straight year. This is a critical first step in building a financially healthy City. As a result of our financial policies adopted for free cash and our work with the school department, school committee and MSBA, we are now better positioned to fund capital improvements to our schools like the roof at the high school.
In my short time as Mayor, we have been committed to economic growth in the City. We will continue to work to expand our commercial industrial base and upgrading our technological services within the City. At the same time, we worked to repair our coastal seawalls, establish co-working spaces for entrepreneurs, improve visiting areas like Stage Fort Park, continue our cultural heritage in the arts, attend the Seafood Show to promote Gloucester Fresh Seafood including designing the logo which led to a relationship with 99 Restaurants to sell local fish, work alongside Representative Ferrante, Senator Tarr and our federal delegations to secure funds including a new roof at the State Fish Pier, and so much more.
The City welcomed new changes in the Mayor’s Office to help with constituent services, as well as new staff leadership across many City departments, including Harbormaster, Community Development, Tourism, Communications, Police, Human Resources, and, for the first time in a long while, Fisheries Commission Director. I believe our team is stronger than ever as a result of these changes and I am confident that we will continue to provide the best services to all Gloucester residents.
From our seniors to our students, from Ward 1 to Ward 5, for those just moving here to those who have had generations living here, please know that our administration will continue to provide the best results by working with everyone and building toward a strong collective future. While we respect our culture and heritage for 2017 and well beyond, we must continue to listen to one another and find ways to deepen our contributions, however large or small, to help every citizen.
As I have said many times, my door is always open and I welcome your input and guidance.
I am sure that 2017 will usher in many challenges for us as a community but I know through everyone’s hard work and what we have accomplished in 2016 that we will be successful. Thank you and I hope you and your family have a happy and healthy New Year! Let’s keep moving Gloucester forward… together.