I’m back to my day dreaming about New Port Richey’s future on a rainy Sunday afternoon, listening to one of my favorite albums, Boston’s “Third Stage” LP. The album was written in the early 80’s with a theme: “Each individual piece of music relates a human experience. And together they tell the story of a journey into life’s Third Stage.”
The album starts with “Amanda”, which I suspect most of you have heard. Most of you have probably not heard the other songs on the album. In my opinion, Third Stage is one of those rare albums where every track is a keeper.
Every song could be considered an analogy for where we find our city today.
In many ways, New Port Richey is entering its third stage. New Port Richey was born nearly a century ago. It went through a prolonged adolescence, marked by rapid growth and a number of missteps.
I see New Port Richey as being at that critical third stage, where we need to get serious about deciding what we are going to be when we grow up.
Think of our city as a 20-something who is just sorting out who they are.
We are not our parents. We are not our teachers. We are not Dunedin. We are not Safety Harbor. We are not an imitation copy of anywhere else. We are unique. We are creating our own identity. We are New Port Richey.
We are getting our footing and preparing to move forward. The signs are all around us. The opportunities are there for us to grab. We simply need to embrace a bright digital future while keeping true to our analog past.
There is no doubt in my mind that New Port Richey’s best days are ahead of it.
We need to build on the foundation that others built before us. Re-imagining our downtown is well underway. The new palms are opening up opportunities to do things on our sidewalks that haven’t been possible for decades. I fully expect that we will see tables and chairs sprouting up along both Main and Grand shortly.
Workers have been busy on the exterior of the old municipal building on Main Street. The old tile awning is now completely gone. Rumor has it that part of it is about to be leased out for a really cool new business.
I hope the renovations will include adding back the clerestory windows that used to be there, just like the ones over the People Places office. Imagine how much better this building will look when the Drake Elms in the picture are replaced with palms.
Look around our residential neighborhoods and consider how they can be spruced up. You could see the pride in our community in the face of every person who came to our cleanup day earlier this month with a car or truck full of junk that otherwise might have ended up on the side of the road. The residents of New Port Richey want to make our city a better place and they are willing to work to make that happen.
New Port Richey’s best days are definitely ahead of it.
To quote John Lennon: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”
Rob Marlowe, Mayor