Wednesday, January 10, 2018

 

 

 

Development and diversity highlight 2018 Kingston State of the City

KINGSTON – Mayor Steven Noble delivered an ambitious and optimistic report Tuesday night in his 2018 Kingston State of the City address.

“The state of our city is strong. This is Kingston’s moment,” the mayor said. “What we do with this moment determines who we are as a community, and where we go from here. We are entering the new year ready to face the challenges that come our way, and hopeful for the opportunities still ahead.”


Noble's half-hour speech was well-received by a full audience of supporters.

Chief among the accomplishments in 2017 were winning of the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant, and passing a third consecutive annual budget with no property tax increases. Noble also credited his administration with raising the fund balance and paying down debt, despite increasing health care and pension costs.

The mayor said the next 12 months “will quite possibly be the busiest in our city’s history of economic development,” noting the $10 million DRI.

A new master plan is in the works for Kingston Point Park, in order to improve public enjoyment of that waterfront resource – once a thriving amusement attraction during last century.

Work on the Broadway streetscape, Hudson River Promenade, and integration of the CITIBUS system with UCAT will begin gearing up for the following year, Noble added.

Other plans include a Fair Housing Initiative, and the second phase of Kingston city zoning revision. Noble joked that the municipality still has archaic regulations on the books which require updating, such as a bicycle registration ordinance.

While praising police and firefighters for protecting the public, the mayor also promised to work harder making the city more diverse to minorities and other disadvantaged groups.

A recent holiday school visit to the mayor’s office underscored this long-unaddressed problem in Kingston, when the children saw framed portraits of former city leaders.

“There were only pictures of white men in that room,” Noble said. “We spoke about what that meant to them, and why it was deeply concerning. We talked about leadership, and the work we need to do, to make sure our leaders reflect our diverse community.” Noble promised to lift barriers for effective, long-lasting change, “But I need your help,” he added, seeking fresh recruits from the community.

 

 


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