In his eleventh State of the City address, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight spoke on the city’s accomplishments in 2017, the strength of the city’s finances, the importance of developing new housing, the drop in unemployment, and plans for 2018.
Mayor Goodnight pointed to 306 Riverfront and Silver Birch of Kokomo as housing developments that are transforming Kokomo.
“We need more than just new houses and apartments to get people to stay here, move here, and invest here,” Mayor Goodnight said. “We have to continue, in earnest, our mission to make Kokomo the best place to live in Indiana.”
The changes made in the past few years have had an impact on unemployment, according to Mayor Goodnight.
“Think about it, just a few short years ago we grappled with unemployment of over 20 percent,” he said. “In 2017, Kokomo experienced the lowest unemployment in decades. Our local decisions are not the sole reason that number has dropped. But the things we put in place and the efforts we have made, have created the environment where this is at least possible.”
Mayor Goodnight said it is vital to look outside of Kokomo to see what other cities are doing, whether it is good or bad.
“Kokomo is my personal story, yet, that doesn't prevent me from looking outwards to other cities and towns to try to find the best ideas that can help our community,” He explained. “We do a lot of things well. But there are others that may have found a better way. And we can also learn from other place’s mistakes. So, I owe it to the citizens of Kokomo, and we all owe it to ourselves, to explore other ideas for our own economic health.”
While speaking about what 2018 holds for Kokomo, Mayor Goodnight revealed that the Wildcat Creek is a major part of the city’s plans.
“During my 53 years as a proud Kokomo resident, we have never truly valued Wildcat Creek,” Mayor Goodnight said. “We neglected it, and failed to recognize its potential. Having a scenic waterway run through the heart of a city, is an enviable thing. This year, you will see a concerted effort to continue cleaning up the Creek, enhancing the trails around it, and turning Wildcat Creek into an asset for our community.”
Other quality of life initiatives mentioned by Mayor Goodnight includes the city’s third dog park, to be built near the Industrial Heritage Trail, the redevelopment of two neighborhoods as well as the creation of a new transit center for the city’s free-to-the rider trolley system.
Mayor Goodnight also addressed the “worst kept secret” in Kokomo – the announcement of a new Hotel and Conference Center. He said an announcement on the transformative project will be forthcoming.
Mayor Goodnight finished up his address with comments on “fake outrage,” similar to the fake news phenomenon.
“Fake Outrage stems from people viewing themselves as an instant expert on every single subject,” said Mayor Goodnight. “And now, through the convenience of social media, they can let the world hear their ‘valuable expertise’ without even taking off their pajamas, or putting on their shoes. Facebook has given everyone a voice, allowed everyone to be a critic, and turned news into a constant never-ending scrollable feed of fake outrage.”
Mayor Goodnight’s entire address can be view online at www.KGOV2.com