Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 in Review

Wow, it seems like 2013 has flown by and now we have the opportunity to look back and see if there has been any improvement or progress in our community.  I wouldn’t go out on a limb and say that our healthcare system has gotten better.  I’m fortunate enough not be part of that endeavor, so the national problems don’t seem to be getting solved.  But here on the home front, I can say that things are improving:

  1. The Lamar Apartment issue is moving in the right direction and I am very hopeful that we will see that portion of our community be resurrected in 2014.  Mr. Kembel is working very hard to try and bring this project on line.  Both he and city staff are working tirelessly and if the last piece of the financial puzzle falls into place this next week, I am told you will see dozers by June.
  2. We have seen tremendous improvement in the performance of our North Arlington Schools.  The School Board, lead by Dr. Cavazos, has made personnel changes that are showing remarkable results in the improvement of the education of our children.  I am always impressed by the principals and faculty, for their sincere dedication and commitment to our children’s future.  This is huge for our community.
  3. I am fortunate to have been able to align my views with those of city staff.  Therefore, it is easy to see results sooner rather than later.  “Welcome to Arlington” signage is coming to I30.  These signs have already been allocated in the 2013 budget and will be installed during 2014.  They are beautiful and will let our visitors know that they are entering our city along our main east/west corridor.  Game On Arlington!
  4. We have seen Lamar west of Collins paved, we have seen Collins paved north of Lamar, and now we are seeing Lamar east of Collins going through an expansion and repaving.  Keith Melton, Director of Public Works has been very busy in the north.
  5. Thanks to Chief Leland Strickland and his commitment to reducing crime in North Arlington.  He and his officers have worked tirelessly, and I must say that crime has gone down in our neighborhoods.  We are much safer today than we were last year.  I am always impressed with the results of the APD.
  6. The Arlington Tomorrow Foundation has been reorganized in an effort to be able to invest in our city with funds that don’t have to be on a bond election.  With these funds being available, the city and its citizenry will benefit in projects annually and in a more streamlined fashion.
  7. We have seen a new Neighborhood Wal-Mart store established in the old Albertson’s space.
  8. Viridian has multiplied into a thriving community of its own during this past year.  Housing starts and elementary school construction are all in progress, and expanding rapidly.  Mr. Kembel’s vision of this flourshing addition to our community has been astounding to watch. 

These are just a few of the major accomplishments that I have seen happen in 2013.  I look forward to seeing these and other projects come to fruition in 2014.  We are very fortunate to be able to live in a city that is forward thinking in its views.  Arlington continues to strive to be a better place to live and work.  Today, our children have a better opportunity to grow and contribute to this upwardly mobile society.  I am very proud of the Council and City Staff for accomplishing these and many other projects.     

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