State of the City
Members of the Common Council, Clerk-Treasurer Bossingham, Chief Vaughn.
Thank you for your service to our city. It’s a privilege to work in partnership with you.
To the citizens of the City of Southport, thank you for allowing me to serve you as your Mayor.
Southport is home to residents who work hard, who serve their community, and who persevere.
The residents of Southport are becoming more diverse. It has been estimated that up to 36% of the residents that live in the census tract where our city is located are foreign born. This represents a challenge as well as a great opportunity for outreach to our new residents. This past year, Chief Vaughn and I have been committed to talking with the leaders of the Burmese community to make sure that we understand each other’s needs.
I can, with confidence, report that the financial state of our city is strong. We are able to meet all of our financial obligations due to the efforts of our Clerk-Treasurer’s office. Our Clerk-Treasurer works diligently to ensure our financial stability by planning ahead for future needs of the city.
We remain committed to doing everything we can to make our streets safer and our neighborhoods stronger. Strong city investment in our Police Department has resulted in a much lower crime rate in Southport as compared to the immediate area. The city has also supported our Police Department by hiring our first full-time patrol officer in 2017, expanding the operation of our Tier II Academy, modernizing our equipment, using cameras and other technology, and by engaging our community more effectively.
We embrace the principle that small things matter. Blighted properties, empty lots and litter can weigh a neighborhood down, and fixing those small things can change a whole community. The efforts of our Redevelopment Commission have begun to bear fruit with two significant properties being redeveloped and a third in the process. These efforts will continue to spur more interest and redevelopment in our city.
Our redevelopment efforts also include the construction of a new Municipal Complex. This building will house city offices and city council chambers, as well as our police station and academy training spaces. We are also in the process of pursuing a grant to renovate the current city building. The building will still be used as a community center as well as a space to be used by non-profit institutions. With these planned facilities, Southport will become a clear leader for the entire south side of Indianapolis.
Through the efforts of the City Board of Public Works and Safety, we have been able to implement the sign replacement project and the McLaughlin/Pine Street drainage project. These two projects are the result of several years of planning and work by the Board. We have also been able to resurface streets and repair others this summer. Future projects will include storm water drainage projects under the supervision of the Storm Water Board and the Board of Public Works and Safety.
We will reach out to the local business community to determine their needs and how the city can help them continue to be successful. We will help build a city that fosters innovation, incubation and entrepreneurship, because that’s what drives real, long-term growth.
Southport has enjoyed a vibrant city park and events planning. Through the efforts of our Parks Board, we have been fortunate to host many successful events at the park and city building. These events serve as vital community building activities. These efforts will be continued in 2017.
I want to thank our city employees, the Common Council, Clerk-Treasurer, Police Chief and all the people who selflessly volunteer their time and expertise by serving as volunteers for city events, who volunteer to work on the city Boards and Commissions. Any success that the City of Southport enjoys is a direct result of your efforts. Thank you.
Thank you all. May God Bless the City of Southport.
Russell McClure, Mayor
City of Southport