When there’s so many positive developments happening in one city, a Mayor will take every opportunity to brag about it. And Hobart Mayor Brian Snedecor did.
On Wednesday afternoon the Mayor brought together chamber members and city officials for his 2015 State of the City Address. The Chamber’s March luncheon served as a platform for the Mayor and his city employees to lay out the plan for Hobart’s beginning of their town-wide revitalization projects.
Before the Mayor spoke, and before the event officially got started, all of the chamber members were welcomed to a catered lunch and an opportunity to socialize. The various members mixed together and talked about their expectations for Mayor Snedecor’s speech. There were hopes for development and certainly talk about Hobart’s parks - and they were all addressed.
Once everyone had the chance to eat and relax, the Mayor took the floor. Though State of the City addresses are usually done by a run of the mill speech at a podium, Mayor Snedecor took the opportunity to change things up by presenting the audience with a 20 minute video of the Mayor reading his speech that was filled with clips of their city. Allowing the guests to “hear and see, instead of just see”.
During the address there was a definite theme throughout - that Hobart is ready to rejuvenate their town. Due to 2014’s construction, infrastructure and road work the city has already started to update and take care of pre-existing and much needed upkeep of various projects. In 2015, they are continuing those efforts by fixing bridges; sewage lines; preserving the now Historic Downtown area; fixing up local roads; and doing vital maintenance to keep the city working.
Deb Longer, Hobart’s Clerk-Treasurer, noted that the developments will need work and time to get finished, but the wait is worth the construction.
“One of the things you have to realize with all of the infrastructure plans that we have for 2015 is that there’s a lot of work to be done to fix them. This is an old city, things need to be updated and fixed before they become worse.” Longer explained. “I’ve been Clerk-Treasurer for 12 years and I can’t believe we’re finally at a point where we can finally tackle these projects. All of this work needs to be done and to have them done all in the same year is phenomenal.”
Not only is Hobart focusing on work that will be done throughout the year and into the future, the Mayor also brought a spotlight onto the town’s further positive economic development for the next year. By attracting new businesses and having pre-existing ones expand Hobart is on a track to becoming a milestone year for development. Saint Mary’s Medical Center was recently cleared for a 25 million deal for surgical and intensive care additions onto their facility, the South Lake Mall is constantly attracting new businesses into their building, and Chicagoland Popcorn is on track for expansion - which are only a few examples. All of this contributes to the well-being of the city, and Hobart City Planner Sergio Mendoza, is glad to see the growth.
“Some of the projects there were mentioned for the 2014 State of the City are now actually adding on to their facilities. It’s good to see that business is doing so well that they’re looking to expand and stay in the city of Hobart.” Medonza explained. “It shows that there’s a market for expansion, and that the citizen’s needs are being met through their business.”
Besides the economic growth and expansion, the Mayor also pointed out development within their parks, the insertion of a city events planner, and continued additions to their public safety departments.
All of the developments mentioned in the State of the City were positive and optimistic, and that’s something any Mayor wants to showcase.
“Sometimes when people live in a town and spend most of their time working out of it they don’t always get the chance to hear all of the great things happening within city limits. With the ‘out of sight out of mind’ mentality most people don’t even know or see all of the great progress Hobart is making each year. ” Mayor Snedecor stated. “Hopefully, through this address and as a community, we can get that positive information out.”
Mayor Snedecor also said that though most of their plans for this year deal with projects that will take up time, he’s living by the phrase of ‘building bridges, not fences’.
”There’s a lot of progress to be made over the year and in the future, but it takes time. I will always make apologies for inconvenience, but I will never apologize for progress. I think that’s something people have to understand. I certainly don’t want people to be aggravated, but in the name of progress I will never forgive.”
In all, 2015 is another potential banner year for the city, and the Mayor’s State of the City only backed up that statement. Hobart is on the rise again, and in that room on Wednesday afternoon it was clear that the city only has up to go from here.