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|Mayo focuses on new term as Monroe mayor|
Now that Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo has secured another four years to lead the city, he says his administration is more than ready to continue the push to take the city to the next level.
Mayo was re-elected in the Monroe mayoral race Saturday, garnering some 65 percent of the vote, according to returns from the Secretary of State's office.
Mayo garnered 6,908 votes, while Tony Little finished a distant second with 21 percent of the vote, or 2,288 votes. Jack Buttitta ran third with 1,139 votes, or 11 percent. Ali Moghimi finished fourth, picking up 176 votes, or 2 percent. Clint Thomas closed out the field of candidates with 137 votes, or 1 percent.
"It's a great feeling … a great win, because it was a historic election from the standpoint of winning every precinct in the city," Mayo said. "I'm honored by the confidence and the mandate that was shown by the citizens of the city of Monroe."
"I don't take it for granted," Mayo continued. "As we move forward, I think we are a true city that is unified.
"We'll continue to work to take our city to another level. I think that's where we are now. We are officially at that point."
Mayo's focus for these next four years will continue to be his administration's six-point plan, which includes economic development, partnership in education, marketing Monroe, beautification efforts, housing and growth and public safety.
Reduction of crime within Monroe's city limits is another priority. The city plans to continue to push its different programs and initiatives to address the issue of crime.
Reducing crime, beautification efforts and improved housing all have one major goal in mind - the creation of more economic development.
"Everything we do in these focal areas all are centered around getting new jobs, and also expanding and retaining existing jobs," Mayo said. "I think we're in a pretty good situation."
"We've put a mechanism in place that's conducive to growth, particularly in the sound fiscal management practices, and also the creation and use of the economic development funds," he added.
The city has more than $3 million in a special economic development fund account, which is used to recruit companies "to provide good jobs for our citizens," Mayo said.
The economic development funds give the city something to bring to the bargaining table when dealing with industry and company officials interested in locating in Monroe.
Mayo was pleased that all the councilmen won their respective seats. He said many of the city's initiatives were started by the current councilmen.
"A lot of these initiatives would not have been possible without their support," the mayor said. "We have a really good team coming back … an experienced team, and that'll be the impetus that affords us the opportunity to take the city to another level."
Other top priorities for Mayo during his next four years in office include the construction of a new airport terminal at Monroe Regional, increasing female and minority-owned businesses and a focus on efforts to revitalize downtown and south Monroe.
"We want to revitalize downtown in such a way that it will be a downtown that we won't recognize hopefully by the end of this term," Mayo said.
The revitalization efforts are being tackled to hopefully draw more businesses to downtown and south Monroe and to improve the quality of life for residents.
For south Monroe, Mayo's administration plans to find one good project that "will completely change the face of south Monroe and give us something to build around."
Overall, Mayo's focus during the next four years is to advance the city in such a way that young people will want to remain in Monroe after they graduate high school and college.
"As we get more good paying jobs, and the quality of life continues to improve, I think our self-esteem will improve and people will recognize the resources we already have," he said. "We have Broadway shows, outstanding recreation with parks as well as the arts."
"We have resources here that's the same as larger metropolitan cities," he continued. "Of course, there are many things that need to be done, but there are a lot of resources we already have that we can build on."