Tuesday, March 12, 2013

In final speech, Reardon looks back and calls for continued community revitalization

In his final State of the Unified Government Speech, Unified Government Mayor/CEO Joe Reardon looked back on his eight years as mayor and forward to the "opportunities" Wyandotte County has for itself in the future.

Reardon, who's last day as mayor will be April 24, called the state of the country "strong" as he exits the political stage in Wyandotte County.

"As I wrap up eight years as mayor, I am proud to say that the State of the Unified Government is strong," Reardon said. "We have weathered the financial storm while achieving record growth in new business development and new job creation."

During Reardon's time as mayor, KCK had its greatest economic growth.

Over $1 billion in new investment was made during Reardon's time as mayor. Wyandotte County was recently ranked in the Top 20 in job creation.

Along with the economic growth, Reardon pointed to the decrease in crime as a big reason why Wyandotte County is strong.

"Our crime has been reduced over the last eight years to the point that we are safer as a community than we have been in nearly 30 years," he said.

While his time as mayor is down to six weeks, that didn't stop Reardon from speaking about the future of Wyandotte County.

He called for the county to continue working with other cities in the metro area, along with continuing to become more "healthy" as a community.

"If we focus on improving the overall health condition of our citizens, we will see neighborhood revitalization take shape in a way that supports healthy lifestyles and higher quality of life," Reardon said.

As Wyandotte County continues to grow, Reardon said, the new leadership in KCK can't be afraid to work with surrounding counties.

"KCK and Wyandotte County are true players in the economic environment of this Kansas City region --- more so now than ever," Reardon said. "We need to be willing to assert our influence and accept the responsibilities of a community that participates in the region."

"We have earned our new found position."