When Salisbury Mayor Jake Day delivers his first state of the city address on Nov. 17 – his first anniversary as mayor – he’ll be speaking as a man of contentment.
“I am one happy man. Professionally and personally, everything is very good right now,” said an upbeat Day, who became a father to a second daughter, Olivia Mary Day, last week.
He will present the address at 7 p.m. in the Worcester Room in The Commons building at Salisbury University.
“In the city, we’ve seen crime drop in every measurable category. We’ve seen jobs explode. We have more jobs than we had a year ago.
“We have put our resources in paving and parks. We will definitely see the fruits of that labor soon. We have finally started labor on the project that was designed eight years ago, the Streetscape downtown improvement,” he said.
City charter requires the mayor to inform the City Council about the current state of the city, similar to the president’s state of the union address, but on a small scale.
“It’s my report to the legislature about where things are. I will cover everything that has happened. I will be talking about the economy, crime, a variety of decisions and investments,” Day said.
“I will be covering all of the accomplishments I feel we’ve made that are pretty significant,” he said.
When he was elected mayor last fall, Day hit the ground full of ideas and optimism.
During his first six months leading Salisbury, he found the city government has a team whose employees are willing to work hard, who want respect, to be listened to and be a part of the solution, who are dedicated to making Salisbury great.
“I think we’ve tapped into and unleashed some of that capability,” he said at the time.
“We are pushing very hard. We’ve got a team that is sweating. The city employees are very eager to transform the city, to put changes in place,” he said.
Once he became mayor, monthly meetings with city employees were scheduled, as well as briefings, every other week. At those sessions, goals are outlined and metrics set.
“Address problems; reduce barriers. That’s why we need to come together. We do need to check in and collaborate,” Day said.
In the past several years, millions of dollars have been spent on improving Downtown, with more expected because wise leaders know if there’s a key to a successful city, it’s getting the downtown right, he said.
“And you have to stick to it for decades. It’s not something can pull off in two years,” said an unfaltering Mayor Jake Day, who’s reveling in Salisbury’s renaissance.
“You can’t give up. We have invested a few steady years into revitalization of our core, which is the Downtown. What we’ve seen is the resurgence of small business, of locally owned businesses, of events, beautification,” he said. Among them are old buildings, the Riverwalk and Main Street.
“We’re seeing building after building, condo after condo, apartment after apartment, sell and more people are looking to be in, or close to, Downtown,” Day said.
“There is just constant development on the next project without ever slowing down. One of the things that marks us as different from generations past is, we’re aggressively progressive,” Day said.
When Day wrote the state of the city address, he was reminded of the steady pace city leaders and employees have keep.
“We haven’t taken a break or a breath. It kind of feels it has been many years, looking back. It feels like, no way that was just a year ago. It feels like five or six,” Day said.
“It has been and incredibly busy year. The city government has been more productive than ever and more efficient than ever. If I could put my finger on it, I would say the city is more prosperous, safer and proud,” he said.
Reach Susan Canfora at email@example.com.