Lewis preparing positive message

January 10, 2019

By Tesa Glass

MT. VERNON — Mayor John Lewis says the future of the city is positive, as he prepares to give his second State of the City address on Jan. 17.

“I think this will be a more upbeat speech than last year,” Lewis said. “The first address … we laid out in stark terms the condition of the city, the financial conditions and all the things we were facing.”

The annual State of the City address is hosted by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and held at the Doubletree during the January monthly Chamber luncheon. The cost is $15 for the luncheon — those who would like to only listen to the address are welcome. Held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., the program is open to non-Chamber members as well, according to JCCC Executive Director Mike Beard. Beard said he is pleased the Chamber hosts the mayor as the January guest speaker.

“The openness of our government that we are at right now is appreciated,”

Beard said. “They are open to listening to concerns and talking about the issues. … This is a time the mayor can talk to people, and we are happy to give him a platform to let people know what is happening in our community. It’s great that we have government officials who are willing to talk to us.”

Lewis said he is happy to talk about a bright future for the city.

“We have not got, I think, on a better financial footing,” Lewis said, adding that his goal is to make sure layoffs of city employees doesn’t happen again.
“Things are looking great, we have a lot of businesses moving into town,”

Lewis continued. “Our revenues are way up, farther than we projected or hoped. That all helps us get in a better financial condition quicker.”
Lewis said some of the plans for 2019 may also be discussed during the address.

“We have some big plans that we have been discussing for the past year that I think will move Mt. Vernon forward,” Lewis said.
To make reservations for the State of the City address and to purchase tickets, contact the JCCC at 242-5725, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.