2014 has been quite the ride. New Port Richey has taken the first of several steps toward becoming the city we know it can be. As much as I’d love to claim credit for this, I can’t. It has very much been a team effort.
The city council identified and hired a new full time city manager. Although I wasn’t on the city council when that decision was made, both of us running for the post of mayor agreed with the council’s choice. The balance of the year has shown the wisdom of that hiring decision.
The New Port Richey SMARTstart Business Incubator opened in June and filled up with fledgling businesses almost immediately. Kudos are due to the folks at the Pasco Economic Development Council for handling the day to day operations of the Incubator for us.
Entrepreneurs, and geek ones in particular, can be a challenge. They simply don’t think the same way most people do. I suspect that managing the Dade City Incubator, with its more conventional businesses, has been a cake walk compared to managing our incubator. The task taken on by the PEDC in New Port Richey is something akin to that described in a rather famous EDS Superbowl commercial.
The New Port Richey Business Incubator has been a fountain of new and exciting ideas. I look for more great ideas to come out of the Incubator as we go through 2015.
City staff, city council, and city residents have all agreed that some things have to change. There has been a willingness to devote the human and financial resources necessary to deal with these issues. There seems to be broad consensus that we need to attack blight, reduce crime, and encourage businesses to look at New Port Richey as a place to call home.
Some of these efforts are showing results. The new businesses downtown and the new restaurants opening up in the next few weeks are examples.
Some of these efforts, such as cleaning up blighted properties and reducing prostitution, are still works in progress. There have been some successes, but a lot more work is still to be done.
All in all, I believe the city is moving in the right direction and I want to express my gratitude to my fellow council members, the city manager, the department heads, city staff, and the city residents who have all been pitching in to make this possible. This is, and will continue to be, a team effort.
Rob Marlowe, Mayor