Invest in your city, invest in your future, mayor says

Feb. 15, 2013 @ 06:19 PM

When we first discussed the idea of planting trees as part of a long term citywide beautification plan I was a bit unsure of it. I mean, what difference will a few trees planted in the median of a busy highway make on our city.

I am here to tell you it will make a difference. It will not only have an immediate impact on what our gateway to Monroe will look like it will also serve as a daily reminder that we all need to do our part to make our city and our community better. This move will be the first step of many by this city council and the staff to build up and enhance the city we love. With upwards of 50,000 vehicles traveling on Highway 74 daily, equates to hundreds of thousands of people come through Monroe each week and for many, the only thing they see is what’s along Highway 74. This start of improving the74 corridor is a small beginning of a greater effort that will be carried throughout the entire city.

We are leading the charge in this ongoing beautification effort, but we cannot do it alone. In the coming weeks, months and even years, we will be moving steadily forward with a plan to not only enhance the appearance of our community, but also instill a renewed sense of pride in our city and engage each resident and business owner to do their part.

The planting of these trees, the picking up of trash along city roadways and a common sense approach to design and development are just a few of the measures we, as a council and a staff, are taking to turn our city into the vibrant and special place we all know it can be. There is much that we can do as council and staff, but we cannot do it alone. The improvements will be slow and steady, but hopefully our residents and outsiders as well will take notice. By improving our city, we not only make ourselves more appealing to business and industry, we also create a stronger sense of community for ourselves and our future generations. This will not be an overnight transformation. This will be an effort that spans years and will take support from young and old.

Monroe is a fantastic place to live and work and we need to not only believe that, we need to live it. We need to live it in our actions and we need to live it in our words. We need to be proud of our city. We need to share that pride and that passion every chance we get. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to the future generations.

These trees are the first of many that will transform the landscape of Monroe. This small investment in our city and our future will grow far-reaching roots throughout the community and hopefully plant the seeds of renewed pride.

I urge everyone to invest in your city and invest in the future. I love this city and couldn’t think of any other place I would want to see my family raised. I want my grandchildren and their future children to want to live and raise their family in Monroe. Please join me in taking the first step in dedicating these trees to our future.

• Bobby Kilgore is the mayor of the City of Monroe.