“I am pleased to report that the state of this city is resilient,” said Mayor Steven Reed at his second State of the City address on Wednesday January 12th.
In his address the mayor highlighted both the achievements he says his administration has made and the areas in which he feels progress is still needed.
Reed touted double digit pay raises for sanitation workers and first responders and the news of a new Amazon facility coming to the city. He also said, “our unemployment rate dropped to 3.6% in 2021.”
The city is working hard on recruiting other businesses to the community, Reed says, and the new Lab on Dexter and TechMGM will put the city ahead in recruiting entrepreneurs. The “Montgomery Forward” campaign will reinvest $50 million back into the “core of our community,” the mayor says and he wants to “invest in and reinvigorate” neighborhoods in West and North Montgomery.
Reed also spoke of the “challenges” the city is facing such as the ongoing covid-19 pandemic and issues with public safety. He described his time in office as “two plus years of weathering the storm of the covid-19 pandemic.”
As for public safety issues the mayor said, “right now not enough of our citizens feel safe. Public safety is my top priority.” He says the problems in Montgomery are part of an “epidemic of violence” across the nation.
Reed then went on to highlight some of the ways that the city is attempting to address this issue including investing half a million dollars in “gunfire detection and prevention systems” as well as new cameras and license plate readers throughout the city. He also said that last year Montgomery police officers confiscated over 1600 illegal firearms.
After the mayor's address he was joined by members of the city council and the group took questions from citizens in the audience as well as those submitted online in a town hall setting.
Most questions revolved around public safety and economic opportunity in the city and Reed says his administration has allocated $1 million to the city council for members to split between themselves and invest in their districts.