5 Things You Need to Know About the 'State of the City' Address
Mayor Gary Christenson gave his second 'state of the city' address Thursday morning. Couldn't make it? Here are some highlights.
Mayor Gary Christenson delivered his second state of the city address Thursday morning, but if you couldn't make the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored breakfast, don't worry – we'll slip you the cliffs notes.
Here are 5 things you need to know about the mayor's speech.
1. Nearly a quarter billion in new real estate investments: Christenson told those in attendance that the key to a healthy business climate “takes a lot of ingredients.”
“But number one,” he said: “we want people to move here.”
Christenson listed a number of new real estate developments in the city, including a $40 million project to build a mixed use apartment building with 140 units at the former Superfitness site.
In total, the mayor identified around $240 million in new real estate developments for the city, not including a proposed $50 million minor league baseball park.
2. Revamping downtown: The mayor mentioned that a federally-funded project to improve Malden Center will wrap up this year.
“New roadways, trees, period lights and other amenities will be completed this summer,” Christenson said.
His office is also working with local businesses to improve downtown facades and encourage other private investments into the neighborhood. Christenson cited the Malden Teen Center as an example of such a downtown “facelift.” The city also added 60 new downtown parking spots last year.
Christenson briefly noted the departure of Arbor Counseling's Malden Center offices in his remarks about improving the Pleasant St. strip.
“I know their presence has been a source of debate for many years, ...but they have moved out,” he said.
3. Crime prevention: “Let me assure you, this is a top priority for all of us,” Christenson said.
Pending the graduation of some new hires the city's ranks will grow from 74 to 84 in the coming months, Christenson said.
The administration has also invested in new equipment, including two new police cruisers, and are exploring ways to allow private surveillance cameras to wirelessly connect to a police department network.
The mayor also mentioned “CopLogic,” a soon-to-come program that will allow residents to report minor crimes over the internet, so officers can spend less time filing reports and more time patrolling their beats.
4. “Pay as you throw”: Christenson said the city's controversial blue bag trash system is “one of the most common questions I receive.”
Christenson said a citizen's advisory committee exploring alternatives holds weekly meetings, and are “now in the final stages of their report” to the mayor.
5. New app: Malden is one of six cities to participate in a pilot expansion of Commonwealth Connect, a smartphone app that allows residents to report potholes, graffiti and other quality of life issues with the push of a button.