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How time flies; yet another year is almost history. We are fortunate to live in a great community. As I reflect on the great honor I have to be your mayor, I have realized that we are in a distinctive and challenging time. Like many parts of Colorado, we have seen many changes that have come with the popularity of our great state. In most cases the upside of a boom cycle is a great time to lead, and while I love this job, the challenges that have come from our success and popularity have left some weary and fearful of what lies ahead. As a lifelong Lakewood resident, I can certainly attest to the concerns. I drive the same streets, shop at the same stores and have many friends and acquaintances who are feeling the pinch of increased rents, the lack of affordable for-sale homes and unfortunately some who have been left behind with no home at all.
While I can offer no magic solution, I can say that the city is in excellent shape. We are listening to the concerns and adjusting priorities and goals based on the feedback from you. We have been able to financially weather the temporary closure of our largest sales tax generator, Colorado Mills Mall, because of our robust rainy day fund. We are adding police agents to the streets, redoing parks and adding parkland. All of this will ensure that Lakewood will continue to thrive in 2018.
I am excited to work with the newly elected members of council. I believe together we will do great things. I encourage you to engage with us, share your thoughts and feedback and please participate in planning for the future. Your vision is critical. What makes a city great are the people, and when they come together, from all sides, beliefs and views to work for a common goal, the outcome is grand. Let’s be bold in 2018, let’s embrace the change, as we know it won’t last forever. Let’s not react in the now but push our thoughts toward the next 50 years.
I wish you and your families all the best, and thank you for allowing me the tremendous privilege of serving you. Over the holidays, take time to reflect on what’s really important because we live in a chaotic world. Take time for your family and friends, get to know a neighbor, and if you see someone in need, show them compassion. After all, that is why Lakewood is a great city.
Adam Paul is the mayor of Lakewood, Colorado
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