The thing I love best about New Port Richey is not the parks, the downtown, or the history of our city. The thing I love best about New Port Richey are the people that make up our community. All of you are inspiring.
We had a city council election earlier this month. We had six well qualified individuals who threw their hats in the ring and shared their visions of what New Port Richey can be. The voters responded by returning the incumbent who was running and electing a newcomer with no previous experience to join us on the dais. I interpret this as a desire to see the city continue to move forward, with some fresh ideas thrown into the mix to spice things up.
I believe this is a good place for us to start the last year of my time as mayor. Someone else will get the gavel next April and I’ll look for other ways to serve our community, perhaps serving on one of the city’s volunteer committees. In the meantime, we’ve got a lot to accomplish over the course of the next year.
One of the things that was a casualty of the pandemic was the “Talk About Town” series of town halls that People Places sponsored on a regular basis. The series returns this afternoon with a session titled “Urban Design Part I“. The topic should be quite interesting and the “Part I” implies that we’ll get at least one more session on this at some point in the not too distant future.
Next Monday, Talk About Town will return again with a special guest: Rick Cole, who is the Executive Director of the Congress for the New Urbanism. This session should also be excellent.
The Talk About Town series gives all of us an opportunity to think about how New Port Richey might be improved and to dream about what could be.
Both sessions run from 5:30pm to 7:00pm and will be held at Ordinance One. I’m planning on attending both of them.
The Hacienda gets closer to opening every day. While no official date has been set, the fact that carpet is being installed in the halls and trim work, like cleaning up the fireplace, is being completed tells me we can’t be too far away.
We updated our animal powered vehicle ordinance to allow horse drawn carriages to safely operate on city streets. This was prompted after David Wallis, owner of the Cornerstone Carriage Company, indicated an interest in operating a carriage ride business in New Port Richey. I’m looking forward to taking my wife on a carriage ride.
I’m sure I’d miss someone if I tried to name all of the New Port Richey residents and business owners who are dreaming big dreams and looking for matching opportunities. They are all around us. You can see these dreams in the new businesses opening up, the new construction projects, and the growing sense of community that we’ve got in New Port Richey. We’re even seeing it in challenging areas like the US 19 corridor and the Marine District that used to host Community Hospital.
We need everyone to be involved in creating a shared dream and identifying the opportunities we have as a community. Making our neighborhoods more walkable and more attractive, cleaning up US 19, addressing the twin housing issues of affordable housing and our mix of rentals vs owner occupied properties, and redeveloping commercial areas, such as the Marine District, that are changing are all challenges that need lots of people involved if we are to succeed. Please take this as your personal invitation to get involved. Attend the Talk About Town series. Attend neighborhood workshops as we try to address improvements for your neighborhood. Sign up as a volunteer for one of our city volunteer boards. This really is an “all hands on deck” moment in the life of our city.
Rob Marlowe, Mayor