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State of the City Recap

As Woodstock's new mayor, one of my first official duties was to present the State of the City Address to our council and the public. My speech highlighted that our city is leading from a position of strength. With publications like and Money Magazine ranking Woodstock among the best places to live in America, calling us one of the safest cities in the state, and an unemployment rate resting at a historic low 2.8%, the state of our city is strong and growing stronger.

Woodstock's revenues have outpaced projections and expenses, our reserves are growing, and most importantly — we have kept a responsible, low debt ratio all while maintaining some of the lowest property tax rates in Georgia. Our population has grown from 4,500 in 1990 to more than 35,000 in 2020, which establishes Woodstock as the largest city in Cherokee County and the 29th largest city in the state. There is no doubt about it: we have built a place where people want to be.

With growth comes some major challenges. We've seen strain on our transportation network and other city services. During my speech, I reminded the audience that though these problems must be solved, nearly every other community in America would do anything in their power to have these problems. We face the problems that come with success and an attractive community, rather than those that come with a declining city where people can't wait to leave. Our position is strong, and we can shift these problems into opportunities.

Despite nearly 50% growth in population over the past 10 years, our Woodstock Police Department effected a 44% reduction in crime during the same period. While the metro Atlanta region is seeing historic crime spikes, Woodstock has cut crime in half. Meanwhile, our award-winning fire department has responded to a record number of calls, and they are meeting these new needs with a newly established training officer and an eye to the future.

Traffic and parking have become chief pressure points over the past decade. Our Public Works department is proposing the first 10 Year Comprehensive Transportation Plan in Woodstock's history. We're among a small handful of cities statewide that will have established this level of long-term planning, and with projects like our Hub Transformation Project already underway to dramatically improve our downtown traffic flow, we're well on our way to the next generation of efficient infrastructure.

We've long established Woodstock as a great place to live and play. We're engaging in a concerted effort to begin attracting employers to our city to diversify our commercial mix and to encourage more of our residents to work a short distance from home. We're not chasing Fortune 500 headquarters. We're chasing small business employers who create 80% of the jobs in our state, many of whom already live in our city, and we're going to bring their businesses back home. This will have a dramatic impact on both our traffic footprint and, more importantly, our residents' quality of life.

You can watch my entire State of the City Address at We've built Woodstock into something special. I am calling on us to lean in. Together, we will build a community that is connected through walkable grid-streets and trail systems. Together, we will build a forward-looking city by ensuring our home ownership rates remain high and our plans are data-driven. Together, we will build a safe city that values public safety personnel and public servants who work on our behalf every day.

Together, we will build a city that will be worth passing on to our children. 

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