Robert Blythe

Robert Blythe

When we consider our city's assets, somewhere near the top of the list one would find Eastern Kentucky University. We are privileged to be the host city of an institution of higher learning and all that goes with it. Very soon we will see an increase -- in almost everything! And much of the increase will be positive.

There will, of course, be an increase in automobile traffic. There will be an increase in shoppers and patrons at most of our stores. There will be an increase in workers to serve the shoppers and patrons in our stores. This, of course, means a potential increase in city payroll taxes for those workers who find jobs in our stores and businesses.

We are quite fortunate to have a university such as EKU and to be able to draw on the great resource that it is in so many ways. Already in our city, we have cooperative efforts using students in some of our departments, such as the fire department. I have asked that we would seek additional opportunities for students to become involved in the work of the city. When students work with us and for us, both the student and the city are winners. And it is quite possible that some students who are from other places will find Richmond to be the place where they want to live, work and play.

Although we know that many young people come to EKU to earn a degree with the intent of returning home or going to some other place to begin their jobs and careers. But, it is my hope that many of them will discover Richmond to be the place where they can thrive and be successful. And it is not only students who come to our city and decide to stay. There are faculty, administrators and staff who also find here what they are looking for to build a life.

I anticipate soon having conversations with the university regarding how the two of us might work better to host the university community and to make our city even better. We will also take a look at other town-gown situations to see what is working for them, and perhaps to implement some of the things that would fit for us. We have great opportunities before us. We need to explore them and to seize those that are appropriate.

I had my first meeting with the golf committee this week. Gratitude was all that I could feel in that meeting. We should be quite grateful for the work of the committee for the past several years. Gibson Bay Golf Course is without doubt a crown jewel of Richmond. Golfers from far and near make Gibson Bay their destination for the sport. We have hosted a tournament recently and will host others in the near future. Our professional, Jason, and his staff have conducted programs for youth and children and have invested of themselves in such a manner as to ensure that Gibson Bay will long be one of Richmond's greatest assets. What vision on the part of the late Mayor Ann Durham and the Commission at that time!

It's hard to believe that our first year together is more than half spent. If you were to ask my assessment of the term thus far, I would immediately tell you that many things have been accomplished, and that our commitment to resolve those issues and unfinished projects that were "on the table" as we came to this office continues. There have been successes, and we look forward to making some significant announcements regarding some of those issues and projects very soon.

And, in the words of Lisa, the City Clerk, "Richmond Rocks!"

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