New Year

St. Lucie County representatives share both New Year’s resolutions and best wishes for 2020

ST. LUCIE COUNTY – Like so many of us, governmental, civic and business leaders often take time at the start of a new year to reflect on both successes and failures in order to plan for the new year. Follow along with us as we hear the hopes and desires of many to make 2020 the best year ever.

St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Dzadovsky submittet a three-pronged professional resolution to the Hometown News, along with what he coined a New Year’s Resolution “on a combined professional and personal note.”

“I resolve to continue to be sincere in my efforts as an elected official, [and] to ensure that our progress in the economic arena continues and expands,” he said. “I resolve – as I have since my first day in office – to delve deep into the issues that come before the BOCC, make the best possible decisions on information in fact and in the best interest of the entire county. I resolve to see through the continued expansion of the manufacturing sector, the port of Fort Pierce, and Treasure Coast International Airport as a major economic engine.” 

The commissioner’s combined resolution was also multifaceted.

“I resolve to continue educational improvement efforts and improve health through diet and exercise for personal growth,” Commissioner Dzadovsky emphasized. “As part of [my] personal growth efforts, I will support the dream and vision of our county collective vision for a prosperous community where collaboration and cooperation will provide employment, a strong economy, and quality of life for all.” 

Fort Pierce Mayor Linda Hudson expressed gratitude for all the recent success stories in both her town and St. Lucie County as a whole, detailing several projects slated to change the dynamics of both the central core of the city and the Jenkins Road corridor. Some of those, the development of the former Fort Pierce Utility Authority power plant property wedged between Second Street and Indian River Drive and signing a lease for the historic St. Anastasia school building on Orange Avenue, have been on the city’s wish list for a long time.

“Heading into 2020, I am thankful for the promising outlook for Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County and the Treasure Coast region,” she said. “Audubon and the City of Fort Pierce will be spending the year preparing the seven-acre old H.D. King Power Plant property for building King’s Landing, a mixed-use hotel, residential, and retail project in downtown Fort Pierce. A new Crabby’s Restaurant will open at the Fort Pierce City Marina, and Port of Fort Pierce operator, Direcktor, will be preparing to provide retrofit and repair services to mega yachts, increasing economic prosperity for the Port, Fort Pierce, St. Lucie County and the Treasure Coast region.

Starbucks joins Chick-fil-A, and Wawa at Okeechobee and Jenkins Roads, and on Jenkins Road, Gander Outdoors and Camping World will open their doors for residents and eco-tourists alike to enjoy the outdoors in the Treasure Coast.”

Mayor Hudson also shared her personal wishes for the New Year.

“Personally, I wish for continued good health for me, my family, and good health and economic prosperity for the Fort Pierce community,” she added.

As part of his reflections, Fort Pierce City Manager Nick Mimms looked back much further than just the last year, highlighting what he viewed as significant advances achieved over the last decade.

“The end of 2019 marks the end of an exceptional decade and the dawn of a new era for the City of Fort Pierce,” he said. “The first half of the decade brought tremendous struggle for our community with high levels of unemployment, foreclosures and criminal activity. The latter half of the decade for the city has been extraordinary, with Fort Pierce seeing monumental gains in economic development, public and private investment and immense reductions in crime. The resilience exhibited by our people has been astounding, and this has produced an unprecedented level of pride in our accomplishments and status.”

In expressing his hopes for 2020, the Fort Pierce city manager said he wants the city to continue cementing its pivotal position in the region.

“My New Year’s resolution for 2020 is to continue our comprehensive approach to highlight Fort Pierce as a center for culture, history, recreation, tourism, transportation, and economic development for the Treasure Coast,” he emphasized. Looking forward to 2020, we shall continue the positive momentum and encourage others to experience the uniqueness of Fort Pierce. Our strategic initiatives outline a concentration on the historical and cultural emphasis for the distinct districts of our community. In addition, we shall continue our steadfast efforts to promote neighborhood sustainability, family engagement, workforce training, retail recruitment, business development and infrastructure investment.”

Mr. Mimms also emphasized two major economic engines just to the north of the city limits that are poised to impact the entire region over the next few years.

“2020 will also signify the importance of our collaborative relationships with St. Lucie County

through major initiatives slated for the Treasure Coast International Airport and the Port of Fort

Pierce,” he added. “The upcoming year will provide continued business expansion at the airport and new business creation at the Port, bringing hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars in economic impact for our community. The entire Treasure Coast will experience economic development benefits due to these two regional centers for industry.”

Lastly, Mr. Mimms shared his personal New Year’s Resolution.

“And most importantly, I will find that professional/personal balance to ensure that I spend meaningful time with my family, friends and loved ones,” he said.

For his part, Port St. Lucie Mayor Gregory Oravec almost never takes a breath when detailing the accolades of the city under his watch and sent his best wishes from the “our five-person City Council, more than 1,100 city employees and 200,000 residents.”

“I would like to wish you, the Hometown News team and all of your readers a Happy New Year,” he said. “Currently, we find ourselves in one of those incredible moments of time, where our community's commitment to working hard, smart and together on a strategic blueprint for our future is really starting to pay off in a number of compelling accolades. We’re the safest large city in Florida; we have one of the highest rates of homeownership; and, according to U.S. News & World Report, we’re one of the best places to live near a beach, one of the best places to retire and the 23rd most desirable place to live in the entire country.”  

Not content to simplyl dwell on past accomplishments, Mayor Oravec believes 2020 is “shaping up to be another year of great promise” and highlighted a few of the city’s goals for the New Year. 

“The strategic plan is perfect for this story because it is essentially the city's list of New Year's Resolutions,” he said. “Let me shine a spotlight on the following:  pushing City Center forward even though we do not currently control the property; building on our economic development successes in Southern Grove; completing roadway improvement projects; cracking down on speeding and aggressive driving; partnering with St. Lucie County to expand transit opportunities; developing our Riverwalk; and staying focused on the basics--customer service, sidewalks, repaving, stormwater improvements, lowering the city tax rate and reducing debt.”

St. Lucie County Commission Chairwoman Cathy Townsend also reflected on successes in 2019 that ranged from growth at the Treasure Coast International Airport to Port St. Lucie seeing its decades-long dream of a new bridge over the North Fork of the St. Lucie River finally come to fruition.

“2019 was a great year for St. Lucie County,” she said. “We welcomed Derektor yachts, started our airport hangar, did a lot of road improvements from the sales tax referendum and opened Crosstown Parkway. We have so much to be grateful for.”

Chairwoman Townsend also expressed high hopes for 2020, including more expansion at the airport and her own personal goals of assisting the homeless and getting herself in better shape.

“My personal goal in 2020 is to open a homeless shelter,” she explained. “It is an issue very dear to me. We have the property, the funds and mental facilities to make things right. We are blessed to have a community that cares and serves our homeless with food pantries and soup kitchens. So now we need to provide the temporary housing. By the end of 2020 I hope to be a few pounds thinner, a little healthier and re-elected to serve this wonderful community another four years.”

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