Palm Bay Mayor William Capote Delivers State of the City Address

By  //  January 24, 2015

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'We are so fortunate to live in Palm Bay'

ABOVE VIDEO: Mayor William Capote delivered the annual State of the City Address on Tuesday, January 20 at Palm Bay City Council Chambers.

 Palm Bay Mayor William Capote Delivers State of the City Address:

We are so fortunate to live in Palm Bay. I truly believe Palm Bay is the best city in the state of Florida because of the people who live here. That’s you. All of you are the heart and soul of this city and what makes me so proud to call Palm Bay my home.

Yes, we are the largest city in Brevard County and the second-largest behind Orlando here in East Central Florida.

But because of you—the people—we haven’t lost our sense of community; our small-town feel; our sense of neighbor helping neighbor and working together to get to where we all need to be—a thriving, robust city with the charm and character of a home we never want to be far away from.

The state of our city is one of change and transition. Our city manager Sue Hann has decided to retire after serving the city with distinction for more than 17 years.

Her years of dedicated service are credited with many successes, the most significant of which is leading our city out of the worst economic condition in recent history to where we are today, financially stable and well positioned for future growth and continued progress on infrastructure investment and strong customer service.

As we see our property values starting to rebound we are also seeing continued business investments which are strengthening our economy. As we search for new leadership we say thank you to Sue Hann for getting us here.

While change can be unsettling it can also be exciting as we embrace new ideas and new opportunities. We continue working together on our strategic priorities by building on the foundation for future growth and continued progress with our investments in corridor maintenance, e-government, communiciations and our infrastructure.

In this budget year we have dedicated a one-quarter mil for road maintenance. This translates into roughly $675,000—a small amount, but a good place to start.

We’ve also maintained our professional work force—a group of highly skilled and dedicated professionals that carry out the mission of providing quality services to the citizens.

We have so many reasons to be proud and thankful, 2014 was a year of significant progress that has positioned us to reach above and beyond our potential.

I believe the state of our city is a journey that needs to be experienced through sight and sound. So once again, we are hitting the streets to see first hand all that happened in 2014—more proof that we are moving forward with a great vision.

We did it!!! The parkway is finished and finally open. This road is going to be such a catalyst for growth I can’t wait to see what’s coming. It’s about three miles from Malabar to Emerson. And within the next five years, an extension connecting all the way to Highway 192 will be completed. We are not standing still.

Neither is Brevard County’s largest employer. The Harris Corporation’s Palm Bay facility’s expansion is just about complete. The new technology center will be the hub for the company’s most advanced engineering efforts. What this means for our city is huge–high paying jobs, spinoff jobs, an economic engine for our city and south Brevard county. We are proud to be partners.

Along the bayfront we have continued the beautification efforts. In the next year look for the installation of more than 100 street lights along the east side of U.S. 1 From Robert J. Conlan Blvd. to the south city limits. This will make U.S. 1 a safer roadway for residents and visitors to travel and is part of our commitment to making Palm Bay a destination city.

In April our parks and recreation department worked with viral events inc to support run or dye Palm Bay, the most colorful 5k on the planet. Why is this such a big deal? Because this event doesn’t just go to any city, event organizers want to be confident of a worthwhile venue and palm bay did not disappoint!

Our parks and recreation staff has worked hard to make palm bay a destination city for outdoor enthusiasts. And each year the number of visitors and events continues to grow, with our first annual turkey creek 5k trail run, our cyclocross competition, and our first ever partnership.

With melbourne regional chamber for the inaugural veterans bass fishing tournament to name a few. These events drew hundreds and showcased our beautiful trails , our sometimes more challenging terrain, and our world-class bass-fishing venues. The increased exposure has created increased demand highlighting a need for us to look at ways to create a special event venue large enough to host future events.

As part of our membership with the U.S. Conference of mayors, we also partnered with career source brevard and the palm bay chamber for our first ever summer youth jobs program. About 30 high school seniors participated in what for many was their very first job.

The program taught them financial literacy, responsibility, accountability and how to function and succeed in the working world. Now the rest of the country is looking to our city as a model for this program.

Our efforts in economic growth yielded noticeable results in the last year. D.R. Horton’s Brevard County headquarters is now in full construction and set to open in 2015.

Inspired living completed construction of a 58-unit senior living facility on malabar road and will open in 2015. Dr. Vishnu Patel of medical associates of Brevard opened the Fresenius Dialysis Center.

And families in brevard county will now be even more connected to one of the largest pediatric health systems in the country as Nemour’s children’s primary care is now officially open on malabar road. These are a few of the successes that are paving the way for more jobs and continued growth in our city.

The leadership changes in our city are also impacting our police department. I’m sad to say goodbye to Chief Doug Muldoon, who served our city for more than 38 years. Chief Muldoon is retiring this month and while it is well deserved, we will miss him greatly.

Our police department continues to transition as our most veteran officers retire and the next generation of leaders and public safety professionals emerges. In 2014 29 new officers joined our team. The energy and passion they bring to the job is showing in the fact that our crime rate continues to be one of the lowest per capita in our region.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement uniform crime report puts palm bay as the fourth safest city of our size in the State of Florida. We also managed to secure a $1 million grant from the florida legislature for improvements to our firearms range.

This will help us create a first-responder regional training facility that will undoubtedly be a boost for the local economy.

Palm Bay Fire Rescue is also in transition. Fourteen new firefighters joined the ranks in 2014. This was mostly due to retirements. It has also changed the face of the organization as 25 of our rank and file personnel were promoted into new roles.

We also reached a much awaited milestone when we opened fire station 6 in the city’s southwest sector. This means our coverage in South Brevard is much more efficient. We were only able to do this through a partnership with brevard county. We are now co-locating three of our firestations with three county fire-rescue crews.
We accomplished so much together in 2014.

Not just in quality service delivery and public safety, but in giving back to the community in some very unique and special ways…. Like our homes for warriors program.

The generosity of a community of more than 108,000 strong coming together to support this program is impressive and is why I love this city. We are passionate about caring for each other through campaigns like united way, relay for life, the mayor’s ball, toys for tots, and so many others. Whether it’s a major event that brings people together, or a cause, palm bay is a treasure.

I’m both honored and humbled to be mayor of this great city. We have more to do in 2015 and beyond with major new projects like the I-95 southern interchange, the Bayfront, new road projects, new business, and new opportunities. I can’t wait to get started.

As we move forward in 2015, I wanted to bring you here to the Bayfront redevelopment area so you could see the opportunities that Palm Bay has into the future.

And we need to continue to stress our future and moving forward—moving forward for progress and everything wonderful that we want to happen in palm bay.

With that I want to say to the residents of Palm Bay thank you for having the patience and god bless you all.

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