by Victor Lopez
MIDLAND--A lot of good in Midland in '09, but More Needs to be Done, those words from Mayor Wes Perry's in Tuesday's State of the City address.
According to Perry, the successes the City of Midland has seen are thanks to teamwork. But, such as life, some negatives did sneak in among the positives.
"I think it's in great shape. We have some work to do, obviously," Perry said.
In his first term as Mayor of the City of Midland, Perry has worked with a lot of different people. He says the reason so much good has happened in Midland lately, is because of those people, "It's very important to recognize that this is a community that works together. It's staff, it's council, it's all these different groups that see things that they would like to have accomplished. All we have are people that are working to make things better. It's an incredible community we live in but it's only going to be as good as what we've been entrusted to do with it."
Some of the good things include the lowest tax rate Midland has seen in 21 years and, contrary to what some say, there's been a 3% drop in violent crimes, since 2003.
"Our town is growing, but our crime rate is actually going down, which is what we want to do. That's a direct reflection on our police department and the focus and commitment they've made to see that happen," Perry said.
But it's not all wine and roses. The mayor added, Midland still has some issues, "We've got to resolve our water issues, at least pin down our options there. There's so many different things we can do, so to put those down in a plan that says, 'hey this is what we're going to do.'"
Perry admits there are some infrastructure issues that need to be addressed over the next few years and he challenged Midlanders to work at being more courteous drivers.
The Mayor added they need to provide more quality of life things, like parks and events downtown, to attract more younger people to move into the city.
Perry says, while Midland continues to grow, one shouldn't lose sight of what's important, "Bigger is not better. Better is better. We constantly have to be thinking about our quality of life."
The Mayor held a short question and answer session after his address. He wasn't able to answer all questions, but Perry said the city council would look at possible solutions.