Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The State of the City: City of Choice

KNOX's Dakota Huseby has managed to get a hold of the draft for tomorrow's State of the City address by Mayor Brown. Check it out here.

I've read the the text of the speech and it looks pretty good. Several interesting sections popped out at me...

Our latest population estimates from the Metropolitan Planning Organization exceed 53,000. This is up nearly 4% from just a couple of years ago, and has surpassed our previous peak of a pre-flood 52,500. My goal of 60,000 in 2010 is within reach.

Working together, it is also possible for our community to develop a signature winter experience or series of events in the Greenway. Structured around a stretch of the Greenway in the downtown area, Greenway staff is in the early workings of an idea for a winter playground with facilities to host snow boarding, hockey, skating paths, tobogganing, curling and ice fishing. With the partnership of various community entities and organizations, I believe these facilities will not only promote yearlong activity in the Greenway but will open the door for a signature winter experience, including a Sertoma Fourth of July-like set of events for our community, the region and visitors.

I propose one way to strengthen our relationship is to have an official UND presence Downtown. We have students living, working and playing Downtown – this is wonderful – what we need now are students learning Downtown. I will be asking President Kupchella to ask his long-range planners and facility personnel to work with our staff to develop an off campus UND site, located in the Downtown area that will stimulate a new spectrum of opportunities and partnerships between the community and campus.

I’d like the community to have a conversation about increasing the pay of City Council positions. This could say thank you for a job well done but, more importantly, it could open the position to more people. I have to be perfectly clear this has no reflection on the ability of current members, but perhaps the stay-at-home mom or dad, a retired person or a young person starting out would be more willing and able to serve if the sacrifice was softened.

There are two types of communities these days. Those who have seen their glory days and have slipped into listless decline. And those who are driving in the other direction, poised for greatness, with the best days ahead. Grand Forks’ best days are ahead.

8 comments:

JGS said...

Wonderful news for Grand Forks! I'm amazed with the population increase in the last few years. I only thought we were hovering around 51,000-52,000. But 53,000+ is great news! 60,000 by 2010 is a HUGE increase in the next 4 years. I guess we are doing something right. :]

With possible UND sites in downtown, im guessing that means more housing developments and business, I can't wait!

Also, where will this State of the City be held at? What channel, im guessing 2?

GrandForksGuy said...

The state of the city will be held at the Alerus Center tomorrow and will be broadcast on channel 2. I'm not 100% sure if it will be carried live, but I am 100% sure that it will be rerun endlessly on channel 2 during the next week or so. After all, what else do they have to show? :)

GrandForksGuy said...

Maybe I was wrong about them putting the speech on channel 2. I don't think it was on today and I haven't heard anything about when it wil be on. I know that last year's speech was on tv. I hope they haven't changed their minds about airing it. I want to see it for myself. I guess just stay tuned to channel 2...

GrandForksGuy said...

I just read in today's paper that the speech was broadcast on channel 2 today at noon and it's going to be on again at 9 P.M.

Anonymous said...

Though many of us choose to live here [obviously] [many more don't!], I object to the designation 'City of Choice'. It sounds like a pro-abortion stand! Can't the mayor come up with something less controversial?
:-)

GrandForksGuy said...

Was that supposed to be a joke or - even scarier - were you actually being serious?

JGS said...

What do you want him to say, anonymous? Our city is a pile of shit?

ben said...

anonymous,

wow - what a dumb comment. Do you know that our mayor is also an OB-GYN doctor AND a Catholic? I am sure is NOT pro-choice - and has stayed out of that national debate completely - as a mayor should. How stupid to suggest that designating a "city of choice" has anything to do with being controversial. By the way...we have no abortion clinics in this city.
wake up