Freeport, Illinois — Mayor Jim Gitz will deliver his final State of the City Address at the Monday, March 20, 2017 City Council meeting. The Mayor’s State of the City Address is an annual event that highlights the community’s accomplishments over the past year and the Mayor’s assessment of the city’s immediate needs and future prospects.
Since Mayor Gitz is leaving office in May after serving three terms as the City’s Chief Executive, the Mayor’s address will assume special significance. The address will constitute the Mayor’s assessment of what is “right with Freeport” and what things we “need to work on as a community in order to be truly great.”
Gitz was elected Mayor for a third term in April 2013. His administration has focused on public safety, economic development and neighborhood stabilization.
Over the past four years, the City has cleaned up neighborhoods, formed a new TIF District, demolished more than 90 dangerous buildings, began a re-built of the city’s water and sewer system, emphasized community oriented policing, upgraded the Fire Department, connected the Jane Addams trail to the downtown, brought in new retail stores, secured more than $8 million in grants, supported a collaborative approach to economic development, and implemented many innovative, fiscally-responsible policies to increase the efficiency and transparency of City operations.
Those initiatives included the $2.2 million renovation of Illinois’ oldest remaining Carnegie library as the City’s new City Hall without raising taxes. The building was previously vacant for 16 years and is now a showcase of tasteful renovation incorporated into a classic building with modern amenities.
Gitz is quick to point out he has been blessed with a great staff and that success “has a thousand mothers.” He also acknowledges that there is much more to be done to take Freeport to the next level and that he hopes that the next administration will build on the foundations already laid.
Council meetings are held in the main chamber at the Freeport City Hall, 314 e. Stephenson Street, Freeport and begin at 6:00 p.m.