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By Heather Rawlings
Murrieta, CA –The Performing Arts Center at Murrieta Valley High School looked beautiful at the State of the City address in March, 2014. The evening began with the Presentation of Colors by the Murrieta Valley High School Marine Corps JROTC Color Guard and the Pledge by wounded veteran, Cpl Jon Schumacher, and song performed by Murrieta’s own, Alexis Umathum.
Mayor Alan Long took his turn at the stage, speaking from the heart about Murrieta, the city of his youth, his present, and his future with his theme, “Fostering and Promoting a Caring and Connected Community.” In the 2012 state of the city address, former Mayor Doug McAllister’s “Why Murrieta?” address was answered by this year’s Mayor Long.
Long began by commending the city staff, before introducing Kim Summers, the new Assistant City Manager (current Assistant City Manager, Jim Holston, is retiring after 20 years with Murrieta). Long discussed his relationship with the City Council, and the Chamber of Commerce, how they manage to work together even when they “constructively disagree.”
Long discussed the small town feel of Murrieta, despite the huge growth in population between 2000 and 2014 (growth from 44-thousand to 106-thousand). Accorrding to Long, Murrieta has been able to maintain that hometown feel. Switching topics to Murrieta’s safety, affordable housing, and top notch education, it continues to be a place where you aren’t “considered a number.”
Long asked the question of the audience present: “Can we grow and keep the small town feel?”
The answer was a resounding “Yes!”
On the big screen, a video highlighted some of Murrieta’s finest talents, and each of those interviewed was asked, “What does living in Murrieta means to you?” Murrieta is all about community, as seen in local events: the Murrieta Summer Birthday Bash, Holiday Magic with the Santa tours, Push Cart Christmas, Father’s Day Car Show and the Rod Run, and many others.
Mayor Long addressed the many accolades that the city has received, and his wish to represent a city that is attractive to others as Murrieta looks forward to continued growth.
For the third year in a row the city has had a positive increase in revenue overall – up 5.8%, that library users are up, road improvements continue to take place, and we have a new EMS System, with responsive time improved response time by 2 minutes.
Long finished by giving Murrieta a glimpse of what to look forward to in the future. Murrieta will continue to be a caring community, a group of people who come together to make the world a little brighter, stronger, and safer into 2014, and beyond.
For more information, visit: http://www.murrieta.org/
Heather Rawlings is co-founder and blogger for Murrieta Momma’s.