Saturday, January 02, 2016

Reform Mayor Nancy Shaver's New Year Wishes for Our Nation's Oldest Cities and All Who Work to Make Us Better!

Mayor Shaver: Giving credit where credit is due
Hon. Nancy E. Shaver, Mayor

It’s the time of year for celebration, the joy of family and friends, and reflections on the past year and the one to come.

My thoughts turn gratefully to those who made all the wonderful things in 2015 possible and who are so committed to this special place we call home to say simply “Thank you”.

In my first year serving all of you as Mayor, I have a long list of people to thank. So, at the risk of neglecting to mention someone, here is a list of people to whom I am forever grateful:

–To everyone who has reached out to me personally, sent an email, come along on neighborhood walks, been to a coffee or just approached me on the street, I thank you for your kind words, great thoughts and unique insights. A city can’t serve its people well without hearing from its constituency —whether about a pothole on your street, ideas for safety of bicyclists, or concerns about our homeless community

–To the citizen and business groups who have spent time looking at opportunities, crafting solutions and bringing them forward. People in St Augustine are amazingly engaged in making this great place to live and work even better. There are citizen groups working on livability by reducing noise in our City and protecting our waterways; merchants re-imagining the Anastasia entrance corridor; groups championing green space for everyone to enjoy like Riberia Pointe and Lighthouse Park; and attraction owners coming together with recommendations for a Visitor Information Center that improves our visitor experience.

–To the hundreds of City staff, volunteers and generous sponsors who went above and beyond to make the 450th celebration such a success. Special thanks goes to the many logistical teams whose work let us walk our streets and enjoy our City in such a magical way; to the team from the Amphitheatre who booked amazing local talent and wonderful headliners; and to Flagler College who most generously and gracefully hosted King Felipe and Queen Letitzia.

–To the many non-profit groups that serve our neighbors who need a little help. They came together with the City to give Light Up!Night a new meaning with 400 pounds of canned goods donated by you that night (and over two tons collected this season for our food pantries!). And that’s just one of the many efforts that happen every day because of you.

–To everyone who works to make our Commission meetings a model of transparency and good governance – even if from time to time it involves conflict. My fellow commissioners who have worked hard on big issues; the City staff who puts the meetings together; to all the people who are brave enough to comment; and to everyone who attends or watches and participates in our process. I will continue to pay attention to how we communicate with the media and the public; and I will recommend solutions that embrace current technologies.

–To the people who make St Augustine a fascinating and fun place to be. To those who host our guests with enthusiasm and skill; to the reenactors who have welcomed me into their wonderful events, to the many entertainers who provide joy (and the chance to dance), to the artists who enrich our senses. And behind all this, stand our police and firefighters who make the city safe for us all.

I am humbled by the widespread support, encouraged by the many positive groups who are willing to work on solutions, and very proud of the City staff’s ability to focus on the key issues that matter to you:

-attention to our basic services
-our zoning
-making it easier to move around our city

And, most of all, I am excited to see what adventures the New Year will bring.


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