Mayor Buttigieg looks forward to more growth in 2017 State of the City Address

NOW: Mayor Buttigieg looks forward to more growth in 2017 State of the City Address

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced Tuesday the state of the city is strong.

The mayor took to Riley High School’s auditorium to deliver his annual address and this year he focused on the economic boom the city saw in 2016.

Quite a bit has changed since his first address and he calls that change growth.

There were 4,000 new jobs added to the city since he took office.

The unemployment rate has been cut in half since 2012 and there were hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment in 2016.

“What matters most is our community growing in the right direction,” the mayor said.  “And the fact that our community is growing in population, growing in jobs, growing in economic opportunities, that’s a big deal and we need to keep that going.”

Before addressing the future of the growing city, the mayor touched on his future following his run for DNC chair.

 “I wanted to open with the DNC race, because I knew it was kind of the elephant in the room and it was a high profile thing but I’m excited to get back to the day job,” he said.

The mayor’s day job saw quite a bit of hurdles in 2016.

Record rainfall led to massive floods throughout the city.

A looming tax cap law courtesy of the state legislators impacted the city’s budget.

And an EPA mandate on sewer upgrades threatened to drain residents of hundreds of millions of dollars.

“I could tell you that we will work to arrive at a cost effect answer,” said the mayor. “It’s a bit of an uncertain period right now because we don’t know how the EPA will change in the Trump administration.”

But amid that uncertainty, the mayor says hope is on the horizon.

“I was glad to hear him reassure us that this is going to be a community open to all,” said resident Terri Foley.

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