Mayor to highlight past year at speech

Mayor Kristen Brown said the city’s accomplishments, financial strength and vision for the future will be the focus of her State of the City address next month.

Brown will take to the podium to give her annual speech — which typically lasts about an hour — at 6 p.m. April 7 in The Commons. Her address will take the place of the Columbus City Council’s regular meeting.

The mayor encouraged residents to attend the speech, during which she will review progress during the past year and talk about city initiatives for 2015.

“We’ve got lots of positive progress and initiatives to review,” Brown said in a phone interview. “I’m really, really encouraged about the progress we’re making.”

Samples of more than a dozen highlights for 2014 that Brown plans to cover in her address include:

Increased public safety through a crackdown on drug dealers, employing the highest number of police officers in the city’s history and having paramedics on duty at every fire station on every shift.

Major investments in roads and parks facilities and in long-needed infrastructure improvements on the city’s east side.

Progress in economic development and redevelopment efforts, such as remediation of the former Golden Castings Foundry site.

Implementation of a citywide curbside recycling program with more than 7,200 residents participating.

Renewed stability for some of the city’s hardest-hit neighborhoods through community policing, concentrated code enforcement and voluntary neighborhood cleanups.

The city has accomplished these efforts without adding fees or increasing debt or taxes, she said.

The mayor said she also will talk about the city’s positive economic climate and projects the city has planned for the future, including a proposed pedestrian bridge near the historic Pump House building.

At a glance

What: Annual State of the City address by Mayor Kristen Brown

When: 6 p.m. April 7

Where: The Commons, 300 Washington St.