Mayor Highlights Economy and Education in State of City Speech
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell used his State of the City speech Thursday to mainly tout the positive accomplishments of his administration.
The hour-long speech was aired live on WBSM.
Speaking from New Bedford High School, the mayor discussed economic development and said offshore wind is about to make a major impact in New Bedford.
"Bigger than the state's casinos, bigger than the skyscrapers in Boston, bigger than even Gillette Stadium, and it will be the first of many similar projects, not only in the next few years but in the decades to come," he said.
The mayor also said the city is remaking the Port of New Bedford, thanks to state and federal funding. The improvements include deeper dredging of the channels and berths, and a new $15 million major port facility is also in the works.
When it comes to public safety, Mitchell said he wants to give police the equipment and training they need to keep the city safe. Mitchell said he wants to ensure residents of all city neighborhoods can let their kids out to play and seniors can sit on a park bench without having to worry about crime.
Mitchell said he was proud of the gains made in the New Bedford School Department, and confident in the leadership provided by Superintendent Thomas Anderson, saying "he has everyone working together."
The mayor praised the improving graduation rate at New Bedford High School and pledged to continue fighting for more school funding from the state.
"We want to build a school system that cultivates in students a capacity and desire for lifelong learning, especially in times of rapid economic change," he said. He says he wants the public school system to unlock the potential of every single student.
On municipal finances, Mitchell said the city will make every effort to expand the tax base by encouraging the development of underutilized parcels of public property. He also said the Municipal Golf Course redevelopment project is now moving forward.
The State of the City Speech was sponsored by the SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce.
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