Please let me begin by taking a moment to thank my wife Jayne and the rest of my family for the support they continue to give me. When you are in politics, it can effect your whole entire family.
I feel truly honored to be here, representing the Great City of Rochester. As I enter my second term in office as Mayor, it seems like we are just getting started, getting our feet off the ground and moving in the right direction. I have realized the first four years was merely a learning curve for the Mark L. Smiley administration.
At this time I would like to thank all City Elected Officials, Board Members, and all City Employees for their hard work and support. I am very fortunate to have the team of city employees that we have. Our Officials, Board Members, and City Employees have been operating effectively and efficiently.
I would like to thank Rochester Telephone Company, WROI Radio Station, and the Rochester Sentinel for being here today.
As a successful businessman, I eagerly jumped in with both feet four years ago, soon to step back and realize that government does work differently than sole proprietorship, corporations, and LLC's.
You can use the business approach, although government is not a business.
As a veteran mayor, I can honestly say this job is one of the best jobs you can experience. Meeting new faces, helping people and every day is a new venture.
You can not please everyone, no matter how hard you try. As a local newscaster commented, "The Mayor is sworn in on Jan. 01, 2012 and sworn at every day after that."
I welcome the new businesses that moved into Rochester and thank the ones that have stayed in Rochester.
Thank you, to the Streamliner restaurant for putting Rochester, IN on the map with their prize winning Ultimate Tenderloin rated number 5 of the best sandwiches in Indiana.
As an advocate of networking, I have been directly involved with IACT which is the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns. I have closely worked with other Mayors throughout the state of Indiana by regularly attending monthly Round Table meetings.
I have been nominated Secretary Treasure for the Northern Mayors Round Table this year. This is where we meet once a month at a different city and have a round table discussion for approximately an hour or so. I will be hosting a round table event this June 22, 2012.
At these meetings, we are able to discuss new ideas and current affairs. Discussions are shared - what has worked in our cities and what has not been successful.
My networking experiences have been a strong tool in learning new ideas and also helps confirm thoughts on some decision making strategies.
I have been voted in to be the President of ICOM which is Indiana Conference of Mayors. At the annual meeting this year I will be the President of ICOM Indiana Conference of Mayors as a second term Mayor with 120 Mayors in Indiana.
I am proud to say, that during my term as Mayor, not one city employee has been laid off. To me, this has been most rewarding in today's troubling economic times.
I am also once again proud to say, our City is sound with our current finances.
We will be working on getting the Storm Water Utility off the ground this year. The Board of Public Works and Safety will oversee this board.
Doing more with less, is a phrase that has spread rampant among most cities with today's struggling economy. We have demonstrated this under my administration by changing the management structure in the Cities Utilities (Water and Sewer) and Street Department.
Currently, I have implemented an overall Operation Manager Warren Lease, to oversee all three of the cities departments and it is operating smoothly. Thank you Warren Lease and all the wastewater employees for all your time and support.
The Waste Water Department is moving toward finalizing our four year compliance plan with the Indiana Department Environmental Management.
Mason Engineering is the contractor assembling the Geodestic Dome to be placed on top of the 25' tall Bio Tower. The Bio Tower is 80' across. By covering the Bio Tower we will be maintaining water temperature to 10 degrees Celsius. The bacteria must stay warm in order for the Nitrifying Bacteria or the bugs as they say will be able to remove the ammonia.
We finished the large pole building which covered the smaller trickling filter tanks.
The waste water plant is in the construction phase of adding a small building to the side of the 1,000,000 gallon mixing tank to house the new blower to aerate the waste water. There will be 465 diffusers in the bottom of the tank to blow air through.
This year we are going to explore the concept of mixing our sludge with our leaves to start a composting operation.
Thank you, to the Water Board members and Randy Wynn, plant operator for the water department and his employees. Starting cash ($720,611.40). Paid off bond and saved $16,000.00. This actually increases our credibility when applying for a new bond to get the lowest interest rate.
The Water Department completed the 12" water line project on east 18th Street. We looped the 12" water line around east 18th Street to old 31 South, approximately 1100'.
The Water Board members will be looking hard at the Water Tower Project to determine if we will start the project this year.
The Street Department ($287,506.19) Foreman Linnie Conley has taken over and his department has done a remarkable job this past year. I have received numerous compliments of how great the streets have looked in years.
I want to thank Andy Holland and his probation department for providing community service workers to the street department. We started using this opportunity the end of April of 2011. At the end of 2011 the total free man hours is 2,787.5.
We also have $781,687.33 in our Rainy Day Fund. This reserve is similar to a savings account for whatever the city council would decide to use these funds for.
The Parking operating started with ($181,623.42).
Thank you Chief Jodi Miller and the police force for keeping our city safe. We have downsized our police department by one officer and one detective.
Fire Chief Tom Butler is operating the Rochester Fire Department with a staff of 7 fireman and 32 volunteers. Our Fire Department does a great job. Thank you to Chief Butler and his fire department. You are to be commended for the amazing job they did putting out the Centennial Tower fire and showed their capability and their professionalism.
I commend the surrounding firemen who showed their support.
The merging of the ambulance into the Fire Station has been working well. Sharing resources is going to continue to be a must with the City and the County.
I would like to recognize Lyle Lingenfelter, Golf Pro for his dedication and challenging times ahead to keep the Golf Course operating.
In the coming year, I hope to bring more improvements to the appearance of the city and hopefully attract businesses to boost the unemployment level and economy of Rochester. I commend all of the businesses, whom have stuck it out with us during this tough economy and wish them prosperity in this New Year.
As Mayor I want each and every one of you to know that my job is not even close to being done. My door is always open and all suggestions are welcome and considered. We all need to work together to get the job done.
Thank you, for attending today and I will open the floor to take any questions.