Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas delivers 2014 State of the City Address
Despite the bitter cold, hundreds turned out to hear Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas annual State of the City address given Tuesday afternoon during the Valpo Chamber's Annual Meeting at the Strongbow Inn.
Before Mayor Costas was introduced the crowd was treated to video clip of the popular TV program, "Communities of Distinction," hosted by football commentator and former Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw. The segment featured a snapshot of Valparaiso with Mayor Costas and Valparaiso University president Mark Heckler featured among others.
Rex Richards chamber president warmly welcomed Mayor Costas and acknowledged that this was the tenth time Costas gave such an address.
Mayor Costas responded by saying that he felt privileged to be addressing the audience for the 10th year in a row. Costas says that he treasures his experience as mayor of Valparaiso and that it has been, "more gratifying than I ever dreamed."
Mayor Jon Costas gives his annual State of the City address at Strongbow Inn in Valparaiso, Tuesday afternoon
The mayor said that "vast progress" has been made in the past 10 years which would not have been possible without an extraordinary team giving credit to Sharon Swihart, the city's clerk treasurer of 31 years who Costas said, "has kept us on the straight and narrow road of fiscal responsibility during these years of lean revenue."
The mayor also gave kudos to the city council, "the finest I have ever witnessed," Costas said. He also said there is reason to, "expect big things ahead" thanks to his team including some 270 "dedicated" city employees.
Mayor Costas then first talked about the issue that is raised from almost every encounter he encounters--the roundabouts. So far, after nearly two months of operation of Valpo's, "mother of all roundabouts at Five points," the mayor said that the only vocal complaint he has heard is that, "there is not enough lights on the big spruce that lives there."
The mayor informed the audience that while he was working on his State of the City address Fire Chief David Nondorf told him about the tragic shooting that happened at Purdue University in Lafayette and while mentioning that both he and Chief David Nondorf youngest sons were students there they were relieved that their sons were okay and that their hearts go out to the family of the shooting victim.
Mayor Costas covered other topics including future growth by relocating the Chicago Dash customer terminal due to the unprecedented success of increased ridership since the lines' inception, building up roads, trails and infrastructure in the new year.
The mayor also discussed the city's future for the next generation of residents and those who will soon be calling Valparaiso home.
You can hear Mayor Jon Costas' entire 2014 State of the City address online by visiting: http://www.regionnewsteam.com and clicking "News Audio On Demand"
(photos/ provided by Jay Stevens)