Monday night held a first for the city of Charlottesville: a State of the City address. That address, delivered by Mayor Satyendra Huja, was a look back and a look ahead.
The speech was a summary of hot-button issues—some that have been resolved, and others that still need attention.
"The idea is to be accountable to our citizens as to what has happened in the year 2012 and could happen in the year 2013," Huja said.
With the Dalai Lama and Barack Obama visits, and celebrating Charlottesville's 250th birthday, it has been a memorable year for the city. Residents at Monday night's City Council meeting say it's important to take a look back.
"I think it was wonderful, talking about what we have done in the past and identifying the challenges that we face in the coming years," said Joseph Kopp, a Charlottesville resident.
Some also offered a few suggestions for future speeches, such as holding the speech in conjunction with the budget development, and focusing on just a few events in detail.
"I thought that perhaps some more highlights of what we've done as a city would be really a great opportunity for its citizens to hear rather than a long list," said Peter Kleeman, another Charlottesville resident.
Issues that still need work, such as workforce development and improving race relations, were also addressed. Overall, residents say, the State of the City address is something they would like to see done more often.
"I think the annual meeting, just like the president makes the annual address, the State of the Union, I think from the city standpoint I think it's wonderful. I'm surprised it took so long to get it started to give everybody the sense of where we've been and where we're going and what the issues are," Kopp said.
The mayor says this has been an outstanding year for Charlottesville but now it is time to focus on the future and see what 2013 has in store.
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