Excerpt from My State of the Cities Address

A second excerpt from my address at the February 12, 2013 Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce State of the Cities breakfast.

second excerpt . . . . .


As I was preparing these comments I contemplated Farmington’s SWOT: a business planning acronym for our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Certainly we have these strengths:  engagement of our citizens, the experience of our city staff, the commitment of our employees, relationships with our neighbors, our infrastructure is in good shape, and our financial strength

A couple weaknesses include: our legacy obligations, and a lack of awareness by those not in our cities of how great our community is.

Opportunities: available spaces for new businesses, a recovering economy, willingness to look at new approaches, many new property owners working bringing in new businesses.

Threats: another downturn in property values, and the loss of key people who have been leading our transformation.

In 2010 when I stood before you at this event I mentioned that since Farmington’s founding in 1824 there had been 39 recessions or depressions and 39 recoveries.  We are now, recovering from number 40.  Thank goodness!!!  At some point, there will be a 41st recession.   We need to be prepared.

Although Michigan has been hit harder than many areas of the country, clearly things are getting better.  We have learned many things from this recession including: we can’t separate our health as a municipality from the health of our residents and our businesses; the energy of our volunteers and citizens is the fertilizer which brings growth to all things Farmington; that our responsibility in governance is to provide a high quality environment, but it does not end there; that our best results on Council and on the DDA Board come when we work together on the opportunity.  And I am grateful that we do not lose sight of that the way our state and federal legislatures have.  


more tomorrow . . . . 

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