Earlier today, Mayor Cam Guthrie did what mayors do and delivered a speech. In this instance, the speech was the annual State of the City address at a breakfast get together held by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce. This was Guthrie’s first State of the City, and like the more famous “State of the Union” addresses made by the chief executive of the country immediately to the south of us, it’s filled with fine platitudes and a lot of feather fluffing about the awesomeness of the Royal City (not that it isn’t well deserved of course).
The press release about the State of the City is below. There’s a link at the bottom to the address itself complete with charts and stuff.
GUELPH, ON, April 24, 2015 – In his first State of the City address since being elected Guelph’s Mayor, Cam Guthrie said Guelph needs to maintain its high quality of life while being an affordable place to raise a family and run a business.
“Some would have you believe that Guelph faces a choice: we can be a great city with high taxes, or we can be an affordable city with few services and amenities. I reject that. I believe Guelph can be a great city that is also affordable,” Mayor Guthrie said.
In his remarks, Mayor Guthrie set out his vision for achieving affordability by attracting jobs and investment; focusing on excellent core municipal services that deliver value for tax dollars; achieving efficiencies and innovations in City operations; and setting priorities through Council’s shared agenda process.
He pointed to renewed momentum in the City’s Integrated Operational Review (IOR) as an important step in attracting business and development to the city, and challenged businesses to share their experiences publicly when they see positive changes at City Hall.
“As Mayor, I want to make sure everyone knows what Guelph has to offer – and I want more entrepreneurs knocking on our door. And rest assured, the City will open that door for you,” he said.
Mayor Guthrie applauded City employees who provided exceptional customer service in responding to a record number of frozen water pipes this winter, noting that affected residents and businesses “offered more “thank yous” than I have ever seen in my time on Council.” He also recognized employees who have contributed ideas for efficiencies and improvements to City operations, saying, “employees are a great resource in building a liveable and affordable city.”
The mayor also issued a challenge to local businesses to get involved in efforts to eliminate poverty in the community, highlighting Circles Guelph-Wellington as one example of an organization that helps people move from poverty to sustainability.
A key theme of the address was the need for Council, City staff, and people and businesses to work together. “It’s only by working together as a collective “we” that we can make positive change for the city of Guelph,” he said. “There are a lot of important issues ahead and a lot of stakeholders to be involved along the way. With my Council colleagues, with the City’s staff, and with the people of the community – we will help make Guelph all that it can be.”
The Mayor’s State of the City breakfast is an annual event hosted by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce.
The complete text of Mayor Guthrie’s State of the City address can be found on the Mayor’s Office page at guelph.ca/council.