Mayor Joe Thallemer
Mayor Joe Thallemer
Who would have thought we would be enjoying sunny weather in the low 70’s or enduring a tornado watch instead of the usual winter storm watch this past week? I know our street department has a totally different problem than in the past and that is where to store the surplus of salt that has gone unused this year. And why did the mayor give his State of the City address at a business luncheon instead of the usual city hall council meeting. What’s up with that? Allow me to explain. Every mayor in the state of Indiana is statutorily required to provide a “statement of the general condition” of the city to the common council once a year. There are no specifics for what needs to be included, when it should be given, and where it should be given. A poll of Indiana mayors indicated that some do it more formally in the council chambers of their city, often during a regularly scheduled meeting. Others choose to do it at a more informal setting such as at a local service club or other public building or meeting place. A good percentage of mayors try to involve the business leaders of the community and partner with the local Chamber of Commerce to present the State of the City. To my knowledge, this has never been done before in Warsaw. The past four years I have presented the State of the City at a regularly scheduled council meeting in February or March. I try to review the progress from the previous year of all of our city departments as well as our fiscal health. Even more critical, this is an opportunity for me to address the challenges of the upcoming year and the expectations for progress and growth. This year, I decided to try and broaden our audience to include community business stakeholders. I asked the Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce to organize the event. They did an excellent job of arranging the venue, securing sponsors, and providing lunch at a nominal charge. I also requested that extra seating be set up at the venue to accommodate those that didn’t wish to participate in the luncheon but who wanted to listen to the address. I wanted to maintain this as a public event. The State of the City was held this past Monday at The Vic at One Ten. Almost 90 people packed the venue. WIOE-FM streamed the State of the City address live and replayed it later that evening. They have also made available replays on their website through Monday. I have also posted the full text of the State of the City on our city website (www.warsaw.in.gov) and a link to it can also be accessed through the official City of Warsaw Facebook Page (City of Warsaw, IN). Based upon the favorable attendance and positive feedback of this first-time event, we felt it was well received. We have already talked about needing a larger venue for next year. Nothing is more gratifying than crowing a little about this great community we live in. It is a privilege to be your mayor.