The Last 4 Years
The Next 4 Years
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What we need to do in the next four years. 
Four years ago, Saginaw’s finances were a shambles, we faced massive layoffs of public safety personnel, City staff was demoralized by a rapid succession of City Managers, and citizens had lost their respect for and trust in City Council as a governing body.
    It was pretty clear what the priorities were then.
    It’s just as clear what they are today.
    Twice a year, Council has held strategic planning sessions, in which we look at the past six months’ progress and impediments and re-establish priorities for the next year. Those priorities don’t change much from year to year. Public safety is and always has been number one, followed by reduction of blight, economic and residential development and financial stability.
    I guess I would boil my “priorities” down to one: Making Saginaw a great city.
    That doesn’t mean making it the city we fondly remember from the ‘50s and ‘60s. That city is as gone as my hair.
    It means making it a vibrant place to do business, a comfortable place to live, a charming place to visit.
    Some of you may want to go ahead and laugh. That’s okay. Just stay out of the way of the people who are willing to work to make it happen. Because here’s what they need to do.

Continue to improve public safety.
    There’s more to improving public safety than adding police officers and firefighters. There’s a never-ending flow of new technological tools, new techniques and, always, room for improvement in systems and operations.

Continue to fight blight.
    While we’ve made great strides in the last four years, we’ve done it in a reactive and defensive posture that has us still losing ground. It’s time to go on the offensive – by working harder to prevent blight. We need to save properties before they reach the point of no return – and hold their owners accountable for them.

Continue to work on QOL issues.
For decades, municipal leaders (here and everywhere, to be fair) looked at “quality of life” issues with disdain and made them suckle hind teat to things like “urban renewal” extreme makeovers. From the life-and-death of crime to the aesthetics of cut grass … from good streets to clean parks … from good neighbors to bad renters … from plowed snow to smooth traffic flow, it is both tangible and intangible quality of life issues that ultimately determine whether or not someone will buy a home here.
    And it’s on these issues where we will live or die.

    But ... what about jobs?