TROY — Mayor Michael Beamish shared his goals and challenges for the city of Troy in 2017 on Monday during his annual “State of the City” address at the Concord Room.
The four areas Beamish focused on during his address, which is sponsored by the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce, was economic development, workforce development, strengthen ties to the education community, and lastly, focus on the city’s downtown, riverfront corridor and the city’s recreation facilities.
“Troy’s a blessed community,” Mayor Beamish said. “And you are all part of it. You would not be here if you did not see Troy as a blessed community. Why are we a blessed community? The perfect example is right here. We are engaged. We are a community by definition.”
Beamish shared how he was seen the city grow during his 14 years as mayor before sharing his goals for Troy in 2017.
“Economic development is the No. 1 priority for a successful community and we have been successful,” he said.
An area Beamish addressed that was a challenge for the city of Troy is filling jobs for the city’s employers.
“We have jobs. People think that ‘We got to bring jobs, we have to bring jobs!’ We have jobs. It’s the people we need to keep focusing on. It’s the workforce, getting everybody to see they have value and can retool, retrain and bring in a workforce that can have jobs now and into our future.”
Mayor Beamish traveled throughout the banquet room noting city and county organizations, businesses and education partners and their positive role and influence in the community.
Beamish said the city will continue to work with the city’s education organizations.
“If we are going to move forward we have to have partners and that starts in our schools. We are very blessed to have great schools,” he said.
Beamish noted a local article highlighting the regional focus on the Great Miami River recreation efforts to draw people to the region.
“I have tried very hard to take Troy to another level into the region to become one of the pillars of the Great Miami River way,” Beamish said. “I think because we are doing that we are moving forward. We need to have the quality of life amenities that are going to draw people.”
Beamish addressed the challenges in the city of Troy including workforce development, fiscal stability and the city’s addiction issues.
Beamish again addressed the workforce development gap, stating the issue needs to be “in the forefront of our thinking.”
Beamish said the city needs to be cognizant of its addiction issues.
“To say we don’t have addiction issues in our community would not be true,” he said. “However, I always look at the good side, and we are making an effort.”
Beamish noted Troy Fire Department Chief Matt Simmons in the room and his leadership in bringing the Quick Response Team model to the city of Troy. The QRT began last October, which Beamish said brings addicts an option to get help for their drug issues. Beamish said the drug issue effects workforce development since employers are trying to find clean employees who show up to work on time.
Beamish said “We are making a difference, but it’s a challenge — it’s everywhere.”
The final challenge Beamish noted was the fiscal forecast for the city. Beamish said fiscal stability is always a concern due to the state trying to take more from municipalities.
“If the state keeps taking that and keeps eroding that (fiscal stability), it trickles down and we have a few choices to do — either take on the load ourselves or we have to do cuts,” he said.
Beamish said he doesn’t want to have to cut positions and the city administration has looked at doing business more efficiently to save money.
“I, for one, don’t want to be the mayor and start looking at who we have to cut,” he said. “I think we need to be fiscally responsible, look at our positions and look at our job and say can we do it better … but not to the point that we have to because of financially constraints. Right now, we are in a blessed community and it’s through good stewardship that we are able to do that.”
Beamish also noted the Operation Recreation levy on the ballot on May 2.
“In that primary is an opportunity for the (residents) of Troy to go to the ballot and they can look at new programming, new opportunities, new infrastructure that would only continue to enhance our ball fields, our golf course, our soccer fields, our senior citizens center … for people of all ages.”