Longview mayor delivers State of the City address for his final term
LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Pinecrest Country Club hosted the 2023 annual Longview State of the City address. And the update on city improvements and accomplishments was presented in a unique fashion, as an interactive board game.
Longview Mayor Andy Mack presented his ninth and final State of the City as the “Chutes and Ladders” board game. A game piece moving forward based on attendees votes of what they felt was the most important of three actions presented on monitors. But it spanned the nine years of Mack’s stint as mayor, not just the last year.
First choice was red light cameras, public safety pay scale, or police body cameras. Red light cameras was the choice.
“Wow, this is kind of surprising,” Mack said.
Those cameras were removed.
“We felt they were unconstitutional,” Mack said.
But the city has raised public safety pay.
“In 2022 we approved a budget that provided a much-needed increase to make our pay rates equivalent with competitive surrounding cities,” Mack said.
In the choice between the smoking ordinance, unified development code and the sign ordinance, smoking ordinance was chosen.
“The primary goal of government is public safety, and the smoking ordinance was a public safety issue not a choice issue,” Mack said.
And the unified code:
“If someone wants to come here make it as easy as possible to come here and do their thing because that helps us grow,” Mack said.
The sign ordinance:
“Just makes our community a better place to look and live,” Mack said.
Between Snowmageddon, the big water main break and COVID responses, COVID was the winner.
“It’s challenges like COVID that show what you’re really made of. But we pulled together and we’re stronger for it,” Mack said.
Then it was LEDCO, parks, or the Homeless Task Force, all important to the mayor but LEDCO took it.
“I could stand up here for the rest of the day and talk about LEDCO and what LEDCO has done,” Mack said.
Between residential, food trucks, and infrastructure, the latter took the lead, but just when you think the game is over:
“The journey just keeps on going. There’s no master square 100 where you put the game away until next weekend,” Mack said.
And by that Mack was referring to future projects that he won’t see during his time as Mayor of Longview: The amphitheater, a Hinsley Park upgrade and the Teague Park entrance. A different game piece will be in play for that part of the game.
Longview City Council voted to instate term limits. Mayor Mack has reached that limit with three terms.
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