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Columbus Mayor Kristen Brown held her second State of the City address at Yes Cinema last night before an audience of about 250 people.
Brown talked about the successes the city has had in some of the community's distressed neighborhoods, such as the area around the former Golden Castings foundry site and Ninth Street park. She said that a redevelopment effort there should lead to a new apartment complex on the site by the end of the year.
"The residents of this neighborhood told us that they literally felt unsafe outside their homes," Brown said. "And that our park had become the polar opposite of what we intended it be -- a magnet for antisocial behavior and criminal activity, including drug use and drug dealing. And this was unacceptable and we acted."
Brown said the city mobilized many departments including the police, code enforcement, community development and streets and sanitation to make a difference in the neighborhood.
Brown drew loud applause for the city street department's efforts to remove snow this winter and for her push to increase adoptions at the animal shelter.
"As you know, this is, no pun intended, my pet project," Brown laughed. "We worked to create a safe and healthy community for our animals. For the second year in a row, animal care services has achieved a 100 percent adoption rate for healthy dogs, eliminating the need for euthanasia due to space constraints at our shelter.
"That is a tremendous amount of work for a very, very small staff to be able to do that. In fact, our adoptions for both dogs and cats were at an all-time high last year."
Her comments were well received by the audience of about 250 people who included elected officials, business and community leaders and average residents. Charlie Farber, market president at Main Source bank, praised the speech.
"I thought it was a great turnout and she did a great job," Farber said. "I think one of her main messages was that 2013 was a great year for our city. I absolutely agree and think she did a great job kind going through that. It is nice to be reminded of all of it. And I like what she has outlined for the future."
Farber is the husband of Jayne Farber, a member of the city's Board of Public Works and Safety and the consultant working on the downtown arts district.
City Council President Dascal Bunch said the speech went well.
"I think she outlined the things that she has planned and does a very good job of that," Bunch said. "I think we are headed in the right direction in what we want to keep everything going. I would like to see a lot more on the roads, but I know she is strapped for time and money, and so are we. But the city is in great shape and she made that very clear."
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 10:18:22 AM
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