Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
Story Archives: Transformation under way
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- Ouachita football has holes to fill this summer
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- Delta accreditation approved
- FCC OKs CenturyTel, Embarq deal; merger to be effective July 1
- Kids prefer giraffes, reptiles to snacks
- Twin City Concert Band plans Sunday concert
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- Weekly devotional and church listings: June 25, 2009
- Business news, newsmakers — June 25, 2009
- Obituaries published on Thursday, June 25, 2009
- Diocese names Manning 8th grade student of year
- KTVE receives top honors
- Iranian fallout just beginning
- No justification for lack of details
- Transformation under way
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|Transformation under way|
Our city, parish and region has been Transformed.
When this weekend's box office numbers are tallied, the latest "Transformers" movie will have raked in several million dollars to claim the No. 1 spot. It will be another major victory for the writer, director and production team. They have put together a winning product that is primed for continued success.
That sort of relates to how the Monroe City Council and I feel about our recent economic development achievements, and other positive changes taking place in our city, parish and region. We feel like the future of Monroe, Ouachita Parish and northeast Louisiana has been transformed. Numerous experts will tell you that we have positioned ourselves for long-term positive change.
A couple of years ago, during my State of the City address, I mentioned that the city council and my administration were making changes that would lay the foundation for generations of growth and development. Thanks to conservative business practices, we have placed the city in its best financial shape ever. As a municipality, we recently received an unheard of 1-A bond rating for a $20 million dollar DEQ loan which will fund infrastructure improvements for our wastewater treatment system. That is a product of good fiscal management. We have channeled our efforts in six major focus areas: Economic Development; Public Safety; Marketing Monroe; Beautification; Housing & Growth; and, Partnerships in Education.
We continue to salute the small businesses in our region. They are the heart and soul of our community. Without much fanfare, numerous small businesses have added 10, 15, 20 or more jobs. They are strengthening our economy from the core.
In 2009, we have been blessed to announce three new major employers: Computer Programs and Systems, Inc., Gardner-Denver Thomas, and V-Vehicle Company. These companies are bringing a total of 1,770 direct, new, good-paying jobs to Monroe. The V-Vehicle Company is expected to produce an additional 1,800 indirect jobs and have an estimated $19.6 billion dollar financial impact on our state over the next 15 years. When you add to these achievements, Centurytel's $11.6 billion dollar acquisition of Embarq and the expansions at Chase … we will soon realize nearly 4,000 new jobs in our region. That is amazing, when you think about the pictures of doom and gloom painted here just a few years ago. That is transformation.
In addition to our recent economic development achievements, we want you to consider and appreciate some other signs of positive progress in our city, parish and region: Accent Marketing (500 jobs); New airport terminal ($30+ million dollar project); Monroe Motor Speedway; Louisiana Delta Community College ($30+ million dollar project); ULM campus transformation. We have a group of young people, Green Teens, working on eco-friendly projects throughout our city this summer. We have multiple strong technical college and training centers focused on workforce development. We have strong local support and host the Miss Louisiana pageant (now viewed live in five states). Monroe ranks as the third best housing market in the country. Others include Foster Farms purchasing the Farmerville chicken plant (saving over 1,000 jobs); completion of a new City of Monroe comprehensive plan; beginning of a new Monroe-West Ouachita comprehensive plan; Ouachita Parish School System building new schools and continue to be ranked among the highest performing districts in the state; Monroe City Schools are operating in a strong fiscal position which achieving improved tested scores and landing a record number of grants; and, area spiritual leaders and non-profit organizations are stepping up in a unified effort to improve hearts, lives and the conditions of our community.
When State Farm closed, I said that we would not point fingers of blame. Instead, we would join hands and work together to build a better future. Through hard work, sacrifice and teamwork, we have become successful. We now have a championship atmosphere, bred by a cohesive effort to from a solid group of teammates. The City of Monroe is proud to work with Gov. Bobby Jindal and his economic development staff, our federal delegation, state legislative delegation, the City of West Monroe, the Ouachita Parish Police Jury, Monroe and West Monroe-West Ouachita Chambers of Commerce, OEDC Land Corp., Monroe-West Monroe Conventions & Visitors Bureau, Ouachita Workforce Investment Board, Ouachita Parish and Monroe City School Systems; ULM, Delta Community College; and so many others.
I can not list all of our partners or all of our successful efforts. However, I think it is easy to see that we have a solid foundation, a proven track record and a clear path for our future. Please join in our team efforts to build on our success. There is much more to come. In the meantime ... stay Monroe Proud.
James E. "Jamie" Mayo is mayor of Monroe.