The presentation was displayed on large flat screen TVs at the north and south ends of the room. O'Leary told the aldermen that he decided to sweep through the past five years so the new aldermen on the board would have a better understanding of the moveable pieces and projects they are going to vote on in the near future.
By John Murray
Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary gave a wide sweeping State of the City address last night in front of a packed aldermanic chamber inside Waterbury City Hall.
O’Leary spoke about the five shovel-ready brownfield sites in Waterbury, the 94 blighted buildings his administration has demolished, the 8% drop in unemployment, the positive bond rating the city just received from Fitch, the $10 million in savings taxpayers will enjoy by putting city employee health care out to bid, and his commitment to parks, education, downtown and the redevelopment of the Freight Street corridor.
But the address wasn’t all rosy. O’Leary acknowledged lost businesses, the difficulty in getting Howland-Hughes transitioned from a vacant 120,000 square foot department store, and the impending fear and anxiety of the revaluation process in 2017.
Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary spoke at length last night of his administration's collaborative effort to transition the city into the future with increased train service and the redevelopment of the Freight Street corridor. O'Leary said the returns on these efforts will be felt in the decades to come.
In the five years under the leadership of Neil O'Leary the city has had 15 businesses close, 10 expand, and 63 new ones open their doors. There have been 2000 new jobs created in Waterbury.
Mayor O'Leary's presentation went 30 minutes longer than expected and he promised to take questions from the aldermen at their next meeting. Republican leader Steve Giacomi listened intently to the speech, and will certainly have questions for Mayor O'Leary in two weeks.
The mayor has more than a few detractors who criticize his authoritarian style of governing, but there is no denying the man has leveraged strong relationships with Democrats in the state legislature and Congress to ignite economic development across the city.
For a complete look at last night's power point presentation, click on the link below.