For 2015 the city of La Porte has one thing on its mind: The road to happiness.
On Friday La Porte’s citizens and employees gathered together to hear how Mayor Blair Milo is angling the city towards the pursuit of happiness and love during her State of the City Address.
Throughout the afternoon it was easy to see that the road to happiness isn’t a long journey. Mayor Milo started her address with a simple message - the want to be preventing people from falling out of love with the city. Throughout the speech Mayor Milo went over the specific growth, development, and improvements the city has made - and will make - throughout the year. But the addresses’ emphasis lead on their thriving community.
“I want everyone to realize that each and every one can be a part of a thriving community.” Mayor Milo explained. “I see my role overall as someone to encourage, inspire, and empower all of these individuals to see that their talents all greatly contribute to the community. Igniting their passions not only helps them improve but helps the community grow overall.”
The speech, though, wasn’t just about the community. Mayor Milo also noted that through passions of others La Porte is coming up on another banner year of development and progress.
For 2015, the city has plenty of things lined up to keep the love of La Porte growing. The Mayor’s focuses for the city have been within three pillars: building the most conducive climate for business and economic growth, providing sustainable infrastructure, and fostering an environment of positive lifestyle within La Porte. Those pillars have served La Porte very well over the past years, and Mayor Milo wasn’t shy about showing off everything the city has done within the last year.
The first thing Mayor Milo touched on was the economic growth within some recent major developments. Through the further expansion of Thomas Rose Industrial Park, Jaeger-UniTek Sealing Solutions, Alcoa Howmet and the new Ivy Tech campus La Porte is continuing its streak of successful growth.
Because of those projects and others, La Porte has sustained 1,000 jobs and gained another 500.
It’s not only business that is growing, it’s also the towns plans for its own expansion and development. With the New Porte Landing project and additions to the downtown area, the city is heading into heavy construction soon, but it’s a small distraction from the city’s positive changes.
After talking over development Mayor Milo changed the usual State of the City up a bit by creating some crowd engagement. With a ‘La Porte Roads Scholar Worksheet’ Mayor Milo and her audience filled out the details for La Porte’s roads for the past year, 2015, and beyond.
For the rest of the address the Mayor also mentioned what La Porte is doing to single handedly improve the quality of life for their citizens. For instance, with the development of a community garden; a new GoLaPorte! app; the development of their parks; an 8% decrease in crime within the last year; the importance of health and wellness with programs like Fitness Fridays; and the decrease of substance abuse all help prove the point of La Porte’s focus on the life of their citizens and employees.
Once the address was finished, every person in the room stood to give their Mayor a standing ovation. It was clear that as much as the Mayor loves her town, the people love it just as much.
Michael Seitz, the President of the Greater La Porte Chamber of Commerce, said what everyone else had been thinking - that the State of the City really did emphasize that La Porte is the ‘Hub of Awesome’.
In the end, the Mayor looks forward to the next year for the town with the love and happiness that she envisions for everyone within La Porte.
“I think that 2015 is going to be an incredible year for La Porte,” Milo stated. “There’s just so great many things happening this year - and that’s only I am able to see. I’m sure there are so many other things going on throughout the community that I’m not able to witness everyday. If we all believe that we can accomplish everything we envision for ourselves, there’s no telling where we can go.”
Watch Mayor Milo's Full State of the City Address: