In 2015 when I was elected to the Salisbury City Council, we made a commitment to focus on moving Salisbury Forward. With a common vision, the City Council and Mayor Jacob Day focused on creating an environment of professionalism, streamlined government services for citizens and business and taking our city to the next level by turning Salisbury into a destination. We have done that and much more.
Improving our budgetary process and transparency, modernizing and restructuring our city government for efficient citizen service, creating a career ladder pay structure for all city employees including police, fire and EMS, we have made incredible strides to improve not only basic municipal services but significantly improving public safety and emergency services by creating competitive salaries for police, firefighters and EMS as well as increasing our staffing in these categories.
Our pro-economic growth policies are seeing a record number of construction in all categories from single family homes, to affordable housing and market rent apartments up to luxury apartments. We are the fastest growing city in Maryland and the 7th fastest growing job market in America. Another piece to this puzzle is the incredible transformation of Downtown Salisbury as the cultural and economic heart of our city, we committed to a major project with the Main Street Masterplan, a new Riverwalk Amphitheater, the completion of the Riverwalk and though the Main Street project is not complete (it is well on its way), we are seeing business and developers respond with over 270,000 square feet of new construction, add-on construction and major renovation projects in the Downtown area.
All of this has helped us create Salisbury as destination point and having the honor of hosting the National Folk Festival for three years is the culmination of so much hard work and focus by an incredible, tireless team that makes this happen everyday.
With all of what has been accomplished, we are not done yet! Seeing through the completion of many of these projects is an important goal of mine and it is necessary to have the right people with the experience and relationships to ensure that we complete our work. I made a commitment to ensure our city will be handed off to the next generation better than we have received and I intend to keep that promise!