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Stamford's Mayor Pavia Gives State of The City Address Monday Night

The mayor said he was happy with the direction the city is moving and looked forward to another year of the same.

The meeting Monday evening, slated to begin at 8 p.m. but getting rolling closer to 8:45 p.m., was anything but boring—or short.

Over half-a-dozen big-ticket items were brought before the board, including but not limited to:

  • appointing a new fiscal committee chair,
  • slashing $90,000 from the Water Pollution Control Authority budget,
  • shooting down the Stamford Lights project,
  • overturning Citizen's United, 
  • and voting to accept the recommendations from the Charter Revision Commission.
  • There was even at least one instance of birthday cake.

There will be more on those items in the coming days. The whole evening, however, was kicked off by giving his State of the City Address.

"We have made Stamford an even better place to live, an even better place to work," Pavia would declare at the end of the night. "We've made it more fiscally responsible, more financially sound. More prosperous. More environmentally sustainable and better positioned for the future."

A five-minute tour of the city via a 3D Google-built model with a voice-over by Pavia was shown to board members  detailing various improvements and projects that had taken place over the last year. The video was put together by two Norwalk Community College students for a Google competition, at which they earned honorable mention, the mayor said.

Pavia detailed improvements via his five-point framework for what makes a city functioning and great.

  1. Fiscal responsibility
  2. Ensuring Government Accountability
  3. Quality of Life
  4. Prosperity
  5. Sustainability

Under fiscal responsibility, Pavia touted such achievements like the city's AA/AAA rating, one of only 13 cities in the United States to maintain such a rating, or its 98.6-percent tax collection rate. Citing the SNAP program, digitizing children's health records and making them available to medical professionals wherever they might be needed or increasing revenue from the WPCA by $1 million, Pavia displayed government accountability.

For quality-of-life issues, Pavia thanks the Stamford police and fire fighters for their constant vigilance protecting the city, making it the 14th safest city in America. Under prosperity, Pavia said Stamford had seen a $250 million increase in its Grand List, or total taxable property in the city. Without it, he said the Average Mill Rate increase would be approximately 30-percent higher.

Finally, Pavia declared Stamford's recreational treasures and top-notch programs like recycling the roots for solid sustainability. But he said there was one more principle he needed to add to the list. Civility.

The mayor announced a Civility Symposium for the fall.

"It's dramatic and it's something that is unique," Pavia said. "We will conveign a symposium on civility. This will bring together representatives from the worlds of business, education, entertainment, sports, media [and] politics."

Pavia cited Laura Linney, Fay Vincent, Bill Bratton, Allan Mallaley and Charlie Rose as guests already signed up to come speak.

After the presentation, Board of Representatives President and Deputy Mayor Randall Skigen said Pavia's math adds up and overall, he's satisfied with the improvements he's seen in the city over the last year.

"I think the numbers are pretty solid and I think the city's moving in the right direction," Skigen said. "Generally, I think we work very cooperatively with the mayor and when we have our disagreements, we have them. It's interesting he is planning this Civility Symposium because I think our board in particular works in an incredibly cooperative and civil fashion with the administration."

Pavia said he couldn't be happier with how things are going and it was in no small part due to every tiny facet of Stamford working in unison with every other part.

"In short, businesses and citizens, governments and non-profits, institutions and dedicated citizens, have all worked together to make Stamford the City that Cares and truly, One Great City."

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