PITTSBURG — Mayor Michael Gray said the state of the city is strong during his State of the City address Tuesday morning.
Gray backed up his claim by discussing successes the city has seen over the past five years, and plans to see in the future. Topics ranged from infrastructure to maintenance to new development.
Gray talked about the Pittsburg Active Transportation Advisory Board and its work to increase walking and bicycling trails throughout the city over the past few years, as well as the increased quality of roads and improvement of technology, such as plans to extend fiber to all of the city.
He also recognized the City Manager Daron Hall and the rest of the city staff, which he said makes all these improvements possible.
“It’s easy for us to get up here and talk about the good things that happen, but none of it would happen without the city staff,” Gray said. “All the things we can easily take for granted happen because of these hardworking men and women.”
Gray also recognized the taxpayers for their contribution to Pittsburg’s success, highlighting streets and safety sales taxes which were approved by voters.
The safety sales tax allowed for the formation of a narcotics unit within the Pittsburg Police Department, as well as the hiring of a special drug prosecutor.
“We owe the taxpayers for allowing us to improve the safety and security of our city,” Gray said.
New housing developments and the expansion of several local businesses — such as Eagle Picher, Apex Stages and many more — were also discussed. Gray said the city can’t take the credit for the expansions, but they do help to build up the success of Pittsburg as a whole.
“We can’t take credits for these businesses expanding; their shareholders took that risk and made it happen,” Gray said. “But we all make Pittsburg a place they can — and want to — call home.”
Gray said over 1,100 new jobs have been created over the five year period, and the poverty levels have decreased while median wage has increased.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.